Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty met on Wednesday with Safwat Abdel-Dayem, Wilfried Hendermark, Rajesh Balsubramanian, and Heba Yakan — water and drainage experts at the World Bank Group (WB) — to discuss bilateral cooperation.
During the meeting, the results of the World Bank mission’s visit to Egypt during the period from 9 to 14 March were discussed in addition to presenting ways to enhance financing to speed up the rates of implementation of the strategic plan to rationalise water consumption.
Abdel Aty pointed out that Egypt is one of the most affected countries by water scarcity, and therefore the Egyptian state is exerting great efforts to meet the water challenges it is facing by implementing a comprehensive development and modernisation process for the water system through projects to rehabilitate canals and waterways, replacing and rehabilitating water facilities, and expanding the implementation of water recycling and water desalination projects.
He also pointed to his ministry’s efforts in terms of transitioning to modern irrigation systems, and the effects of this transition on farmers by reducing the use of fertilisers, energy, and employment; increasing and improving crop productivity; in addition to rationalising the use of water, which contributes to reducing the fragility of the water system and increasing its flexibility.
The irrigation ministry is also expanding the use of solar energy in irrigation projects and raising groundwater wells in order to reduce dependence on traditional fuel sources and reduce emissions within the framework of measures to mitigate climate changes by converting more than 1m feddans for modern irrigation.
For their part, the members of the World Bank mission praised the water management system and the water recycling projects in Egypt that have been implemented so far.
Furthermore, the results of the World Bank mission’s visit to the governorates of Qaliubiya and Beni Suef were reviewed, which included field visits to the fields of some farmers who switched from flood irrigation to modern irrigation at their own expense after participating in one of the awareness campaigns organised by the ministry’s agencies.