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February 24, 2024
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Egypt’s Irrigation Minister, Director of Water Department at the African Development Bank discuss cooperation

Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hani Sweilam met with Osiard Chanda — Director of the Water Department at the African Development Bank (AfDB) — and his accompanying delegation on Tuesday to discuss areas of cooperation between the ministry and the bank.

During the meeting, Sweilam referred to the many challenges facing the water sector in Egypt, such as the limited water resources and the negative effects of climate change, reviewing the efforts of the ministry in dealing with these challenges through the implementation of many projects in the field of water reuse, renovating water facilities, protection of beaches, and protection from the dangers of torrential rains.

He also reviewed the ongoing arrangements for organizing the fifth Cairo Water Week and water events within the 27th UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP27) that will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh this November, and the initiative to adapt to climate changes in the water sector, which Egypt will launch during the conference. Moreover, the minister invited the African Development Bank to support this initiative, especially since it is one of the largest financing institutions in Africa.

Furthermore, previous areas of cooperation between the ministry and the African Development Bank were reviewed, such as a feasibility study and capacity-building in the use of renewable energy in irrigation in three pilot areas in Wadi Al-Natroun, West Minya, and Al-Farafra, along with feasibility studies and environmental impact assessment for the construction of the Zefta barrages. 

Additionally, the reviewed the strategic plan for the replacement and renewal of hydraulic facilities on the Nile River, which includes 153 establishments, and the executive position of the third national disbursement programme, which is currently underway.

They also covered future cooperation between the two sides in completing research studies on the integrated management of water resources on the Ismailia and Nubariya canals.

Moreover, the meeting addressed the latest developments on the navigational corridor project between Lake Victoria and the Mediterranean and efforts to mobilise funding for the different phases of the project, which aims to develop trade movement between the Nile Basin countries and the countries of the world through the Mediterranean.

The project also aims to open up prospects for integration in all fields among the Nile Basin countries, especially that river transport is one of the best means capable of transporting goods at low cost and lower energy consumption in a way that serves the goals of green transformation through its positive role in reducing heat and carbon emissions and increasing reliance on river transportation, which is a clean source of transport and non-polluting to the environment.

The 2022-2026 AfDB Strategy was also discussed, which includes many axes related to the water sector, such as increasing the efficiency of water usage, increasing the return from water units, and expanding projects to protect against the dangers of floods, rain harvesting, beach protection, along with drainage projects.

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