FILE- Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Ati
CAIRO – 12 August 2018: Egypt allocated LE 30 billion for water resources over the last four years, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Ati said during the inauguration of the New Assiut barrage project.
The minister also added the short term plan of the ministry for water resources will cost LE 40 billion.
“There is an ambitious project called ‘The Walk of the People of Egypt,’ to rehabilitate the course of the Nile and the establishment of a walkway for the use of water bridges,” Abdel Ati stated.
He clarified that the project, which is 100 kilometers long, was implemented at a cost of LE 220 million in several governorates.
Regarding the flood protection, he said that 29 industrial lakes, 140 mountain lakes, 253 ground tanks, 17 roadblocks, 70 obstruction dams at a cost of LE 1.4 billion have been implemented.
He added that they also protected of 27 kilometers on the coast of Egypt at a cost of LE 75 million, and the implementation of networks covered for 40,000 feddans.
He stressed that the covered system of agricultural drainage in Egypt is the largest in the world, pointing out that the water in the inlets of improved water and Bahr el-Bakar will be reused with investments exceeding LE 20 billion, in order to contribute to the availability of an additional resource of water.
“Egypt targets the efficiency of water use and aims for it to be the highest in Africa and the world,” the minister stated, adding that Egypt is the second largest country in the world in reusing water, as it spent LE 4 billion to restore and clearing a number of canals throughout the year.
“We will transform the Nile River into a corridor for trade, tourism and development, and cooperate with the Nile basin countries in the fields of digging wells and removing weeds,” he added.
The minister clarified that implementing the ministry's projects will help in protecting the country from the dangers of floods and droughts, as well as generating clean electricity, maintaining river navigation, increasing the capacity of river transportation and land transportation, and stimulating tourism.
“Egypt faces huge water challenges, including increased demand, despite the fact that 97 percent of our water resources originate from outside the borders, as well as the population increase, which has led to an increase of 10 million in four years only,” the minister said.
Abdel Ati stated that the needs of these 10 million individuals amount to 1 billion cubic meters of water.
He added that among the challenges are climate change and its expected impact, which require different infrastructure, the preservation of watercourses from pollution, the management of investments, the control of infringements and the modernization of legislation.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi arrived Sunday to Assiut Governorate to inaugurate the new Assiut barrage project; which is considered to be the third largest water project on the Nile, after the High Dam and Naga Hammadi barrage.
The new project was implemented by a consortium of international and national companies with a total cost of LE 6.5 billion.
It will contribute to improving the irrigation situation in an area of 1.65 million feddans in five governorates and developing the river navigation through the establishment of two marine locks (water navigations) at the highest technical level.
The New Assiut barrage includes a hydroelectric power station that produces 32 megawatts, which amounts to LE 100 million annually.
It is located 400 meters away from the old Assiut barriers, containing two navigation locks on the right side of the Nile, and eight slots of 17-meter-width with semi-diagonal gates, divided into three slots on the right side of the power station and the other five are on the left side of the power station, allowing water to flow to the other side throughout the year according to different needs.