Next October should witness the first Cairo Water Week (CWW) to be held from October 14-18 under the auspices of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.
To launch the event, Egypt’s Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources held a meeting that was attended by Ivan Surkoš, head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt, and Pasquale Steduto, Food and Agricultural Organisation regional Programmes Leader and Delivery Manager of the Regional Initiative on Water Scarcity.
The purpose of the CWW is to promote water awareness, foster new thinking about the most pressing water-related challenges, and take action towards better water resources management and conservation.
Irrigation Minister Muhammad Abdel-Ati gave a talk in which he said that water scarcity is Egypt was a direct result of the exploding population which invoked industrial and agricultural expansion. He said that water challenges are not only faced by Egypt, but also by the whole world. “Egypt too has to confront water scarcity and the alarming effects of climate change,” he said.
The world,” Mr Abdel-Ati said, “cannot face such grave water challenges as providing access to fresh water and adequate sanitation services, without improving water management systems.
“By 2050, the majority of the world’s countries will resort to reusing water as an inevitable result of the water deficit. Developing countries, especially in Africa, are suffering water poverty, deteriorating development rates as well as deplorable conditions of water basins and water quality in general, owing to the lack of technical capabilities,” he said. “The CWW will provide a platform for all people and entities concerned with water issues on the regional and international levels to work to find innovative solutions.”
Ambassador Surkoš said that Egypt’s irrigation sector faces “very tough” challenges, a matter that requires more new initiatives to face them. He said that the CWW would help discover new ideas that can be applied in the water sector in co-operation with the Egyptian government. He pointed out that the water sector is given top priority in EU projects in Egypt.
“Egypt-EU water co-operation in the last few years is valued at 425 million Euros, providing 400 job opportunities in this sector’s projects. The EU believes that it is time to face water challenges to ensure a safe life for all. The EU will support this through working with various partners in the Mediterranean,” he said.
In his speech, FAO representative Steduto stressed the paramount importance of exchanging knowledge and expertise to best meet water challenges. He also pointed out that Egypt’s growing population requires increasing water resources, especially given that the irrigation sector consumes 90 per cent of the water.
29 May 2018