Water delegation meets Chinese counterparts

Liliana Mihaila
2 Min Read
The Cairo governorate is looking forward to surveying the available lands of the Cairo Nile corniche in the first quarter of 2015 to be offered in public auction in order to pump new investments (DNE / FILE PHOTO / Laurence Underhill)
The Nile basin is one of many criticisms brought againsts Egypts’s new government. (DNE / FILE PHOTO /  Laurence Underhill)
The Nile basin is one of many criticisms brought against Egypts’s new government. (DNE / FILE PHOTO / Laurence Underhill)

The minister of water and irrigation is headed to China to talk dams. Minister Mohamed Baha’a El-Din will spend three days, starting on Monday, in China, the ministry reported.

El-Din will be working on a memorandum of understanding with China’s water minister that will serve as the foundation for an exchange of information and expertise. The two delegations will also work to encourage the cooperation of private Egyptian and Chinese water companies.

“We have a close relationship with China,” said ministry spokesperson Khaled Wasif.

The relationship is centred around the two countries’ extensive experience with managing waterways. While Egypt is home to the world’s longest river, China boasts the Yangtze, which stretches nearly as far as the Nile does. The Yellow, Heilongjian, and Pearl rivers also run for thousands of miles through China and this topography has led to a society that, according to Wasif, “specialises in the building and design of reservoirs and dams.”

Egypt, said Wasif, has over 100 small dams, in addition to the notable large dams in Aswan and Minya. “[The Chinese] have offered technical assistance on the building of Egyptian dams,” and, added Wasif, “there are many Chinese firms running projects in Egypt.”

Wasif said that the details of the memorandum of understanding will be finalised in the coming days. It will touch upon the fields of maintaining irrigation networks, establishing hydroelectric projects, and discussing the science of water desalination.

The China trip comes as water availability, sewage maintenance, and the Nile basin have all been included in the list of criticisms levelled against Egypt’s new government.

It also comes on the heels of an EU-Egypt pact that includes pledges from the European Investment Bank to commit money to Egyptian water infrastructure projects.

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