Egypt, FAO dig 99 wells to face water shortage in Matrouh

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Mon, 23 Oct 2017 - 02:15 GMT

A Farmer Is Cultivating A Piece Of Land In The Desert - The Picture Was Taken In April 2008

A Farmer Is Cultivating A Piece Of Land In The Desert - The Picture Was Taken In April 2008

CAIRO - 23 October 2017: A total of 99 wells are being dug in the Marsa Matrouh governorate to gain benefit from rainwater amid the water scarcity that Egypt faces, Hussein Gadain, representative of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Egypt, announced in a press conference on Monday.

The project is being implemented by the Desert Research Center, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture, in cooperation with FAO. Nine wells will be dug in each of the 11 municipal areas in the governorate.

“The project in the Matrouh governorate aims to increase the agricultural productivity...and achieve the sustainability of agricultural crops that are based on rain water, and improve the living conditions of the people,” said Gadain.

The project also aims to face the challenges that face the government, said Ibrahim Daoud, the project head, noting that such challenges boil down to the scarcity of water resources, the weakness of agricultural productivity, the lack of knowledge on using modern agricultural techniques, and child malnutrition in low-income families.

Egypt’s 94-million population depends on Nile water, but it now faces a water shortage, as was announced by Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Ati in 2015. Egypt’s average water resources per capita have dropped to 663 cubic meters per year, and are expected to plummet to 582 cubic meters by 2025, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in 2014. Meanwhile, the international benchmark is 1,000 cubic meters annually per capita.

CAPMAS reported in February that around 457,000 people live on 2.4 percent of the land of Matrouh governorate, located on 212,112 square kilometers.

According to FAO, the international organization is providing Egypt with technical assistance to modernize the irrigation canals and improve on-farm irrigation.

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