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  • Wednesday, 13 September 2023

During the Ministerial Steering Committee, The Ministers of International Cooperation, Environment, Water Resources and Irrigation and Local Development Follow Up on the Kitchener Drain Rehabilitation Project

- Joint Press Release: Ministries of International Cooperation, Environment, Water Resources and Irrigation,  and Local Development -

● H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat: We are coordinating between the relevant  entities to accelerate the pace of completion with the aim of achieving the maximum benefit from development funds. The project achieves a major development impact in 3 governorates and benefits 11 million citizens.

● H.E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad: The industrial pollution control program provides support to factories that make direct disbursements to the Kitchener project.

● H.E. Dr. Hani Sweilem: We are carrying out survey work for the drain, studying bridge protection works, completing environmental studies, and preparing a methodology for evaluating lifting stations in the Delta.

● Major General Hisham Abdel Ghani Abdulaziz Amna: The completion of the preparation of the project plan for the solid waste component along the drain route and full coordination between the entities  concerned with implementing the project.

Within the framework of coordinating efforts to accelerate the implementation of the  Kitchener Drain Rehabilitation Project, the ministerial management committee concerned with implementing the project, formed in accordance with Prime Minister Resolution No. 1687 of 2020, was held at the headquarters of the Ministry of International Cooperation in the New Administrative Capital, headed by Dr. H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, with the participation of H.E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment,H.E. Dr. Hani Sweilem, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Major General Hisham Amna, Minister of Local Development, and H.E. Dr. Sayed Ismail, Deputy Minister of Housing for Infrastructure Affairs, on behalf of H.E. Dr. Assem Al-Gazzar, Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, with the aim of following up on the situation with the executive director of the  Kitchener Drain Rehabilitation Project  at the level of its various components, in a way that enhances the development impact of the project and accelerates the pace of its implementation with the participation of leaders and representatives of the relevant ministries, and the head of the Holding Company for Potable Water and Wastewater.

In her speech, Al-Mashat said that the aim of the meeting is to continue close coordination between the relevant entities to implement the project and accelerate the pace of its completion;  achieving the maximum benefit from the development financing and development grants  made available from multilateral and bilateral development partners, in a way that achieves the expected return from the project at the economic, social, health and environmental levels.

The  Kitchener Drain Rehabilitation Project is the largest agricultural drain  in Egypt, with a length of 69 kilometers starting from the Gharbia Governorate and passing through the Dakahlia and Kafr El-Sheikh Governorates, to serve more than 11 million people in 182 villages. The project aims to raise the drain’s efficiency and improve the health and environmental conditions of the residents of the areas through which it passes, which makes it have a huge development impact on citizens.

Al-Mashat added that, according to the recommendations of the Cabinet, a ministerial administration was formed in 2020, then a technical committee was formed and headed by the Ministry of International Cooperation and included all relevant entities. Since then, many meetings were held at the technical level to follow up on all aspects of implementing the project, noting that the project includes three basic components, including the establishment of wastewater treatment plants, increasing the design capacity of existing plants, establishing an integrated system for collecting and recycling solid waste, creating sanitary landfills for solid waste, improving the quality of water in the drain and reducing pollution, in a way that maximizes the overall development impact and sustainable development goals in those governorates.

For her part, H.E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of the Environment, explained that the meeting discussed the executive position of the Kitchener Drain Rehabilitation Project and the progress made in its environmental components, which are being implemented by a number of relevant ministries, and discussed the environmental return and social impact to support the implementation of the project in a way that contributes to improving the environmental and health conditions of the residents of the regions, cities and villages located within the scope of the bank. The Minister of Environment offered the possibility of the Waste Management Regulatory Authority participating in coordination with the Ministry of Local Development, the project work team, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to review the technical aspects of the project, stressing the importance of ensuring the sustainability of the waste system generated by the Kitchener Drain Rehabilitation Project.

Fouad presented the efforts of the Ministry of Environment in the process of stopping industrial drainage at the Kitchener Drain Rehabilitation Project, monitoring and inspecting industrial facilities, discussing investment plans for the implemented projects, the time frame for implementation, and the need for citizens to feel that service, pointing to the possibility of the Ministry providing support to establishments and factories that carry out direct disbursement to the bank in order to submit sanitation plans, adding that this can be supported through the Ministry’s third-phase industrial pollution control program to establish sewage treatment plants, as the project provides technical and financial support to industrial facilities at the governorate level in accordance with environmental laws through soft loans.

H.E. Dr. Hani Sweilem, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources, stated that the components of the project with regard to the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation include implementing protection and strengthening works for the bridges of the Kitchener Drain Rehabilitation Project, constructing and rehabilitating the lifting stations on the bank and its branches, and rehabilitating the industrial works on the drain and its branches (sewers, switchboards, bridges,..etc), as well as installing a monitoring system for the quality and disposal of water in the drain, taking into account the involvement of beneficiaries and relevant entities  through awareness campaigns.

H.E. reviewed what had been implemented by the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, whereby the environmental study for the works required for the project had been prepared, as well as the preparation of the environmental impact model and obtaining the approval of the National Affairs Authority for it. This was followed by the offering of 9 contracts (7 of which were for the rehabilitation of 19 canals in Zamam, 22 thousand acres, and 2 bridge contracts), and 8 contracts have been awarded and signed, and decision-making procedures have been completed for one of them.

The awarding procedures are underway, the topographic surveying work for the Kitchener Drain Rehabilitation Project has been carried out, and the work to protect the side slopes and bridges has been studied. The preparation of the conditions and specifications booklet for the construction of the Hamul and Samatai stations has also been completed, and the process has been presented on September 3, 2023, and the locations for measuring disposal and water quality have also been identified. A methodology was also prepared to evaluate lift stations in the Delta, and evaluation work began to develop a long-term plan to replace and maintain lift stations according to need.

For his part, Major General Hisham Amna, Minister of Local Development, stressed the existence of full cooperation between the Ministry and the Ministries of Housing and Irrigation to implement the project in coordination with the Ministries of International Cooperation and Environment, pointing out that the Ministry of Local Development has finished preparing the project plan for the solid waste component along the drain route and the villages and cities located within its scope of the three governorates; Gharbia, Dakahlia, and Kafr El-Sheikh.

The Minister of Local Development added that all targeted projects have been put forward for implementation in the field of waste infrastructure, which include establishing waste treatment and recycling facilities, closing random dumps, and developing collection and transportation systems, at an estimated cost of about €79 million, will be implemented within the next few months, indicating that the ministry is working effectively to complete the projects, adhere to the timetable, and work to overcome all challenges through coordination with the governorates, cooperation and coordination with the EBRD, achieving environmental and economic goals that benefit the residents of the three governorates, establishing an integrated system for solid waste management, and raising the environmental awareness of the population.

In the same context, H.E. Dr. Sayed Ismail, Deputy Minister of Housing for Infrastructure Affairs, presented the executive position of the wastewater collection and treatment axis for which the Ministry of Housing is responsible within the project to purify and remove pollutants from the Kitchener Drain, which includes re-establishing the wastewater treatment plant in Tanta, and establishing two new wastewater treatment plants, expansion and rehabilitation of 5 existing stations, and implementation of central wastewater collection systems in 15 villages and 10 towns, stressing the Ministry of Housing’s keenness to complete the implementation stages of the various components on time and to coordinate with various other ministries in this regard.

Development partners represented by the European Union (EU), the EBRD, and the European Investment Bank (EIB) are providing soft development financing amounting to approximately $444 million, including $59 million in development grants, to implement the various components of the project, which are the first component related to wastewater collection and treatment, and the second component, related to solid waste management, and the third component concerns drain cleansing and raising its efficiency.