Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hani Sweilam met with Japan’s Ambassador in Cairo Oka Hiroshi, along with representatives of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to discuss ways to enhance cooperation between the two countries in the field of water resources.
During the meeting, Sweilam pointed to the long history of cooperation between the two countries in the field of water, through which many projects were implemented, the most prominent of which is replacing the main water facilities located on Bahr Youssef, establishing six barrages on it with a Japanese grant.
The minister also explained that in order to complement the previous development works of Bahr Youssef, a project is currently being implemented to construct the new Dayrut Barrage to serve 1.5m feddans in five governorates — Assiut, Minya, Beni Suef, Fayoum, and Giza.
He added that procedures for preparing a feasibility study for improving water resources management are currently underway in Al-Qased Canal in Gharbeya, Al-Ibrahimiya, and the Bahr Youssef Canals in Minya, Beni Suef, and Fayoum with a grant from the Japanese side.
Furthermore, the two sides discussed proposals for scientific and research cooperation between the National Water Research Centre and the JICA during the coming period in the field of integrated management of water resources and the use of modern and smart irrigation techniques.
The draft memorandum of understanding proposed between the two parties regarding the consultancy work for the maintenance of pump stations in Egypt was also reviewed.
Additionally, Sweilam expressed his desire to extend the academic partnership between the centre and Tottori University of Japan and to increase the grants offered by the Japanese side — whether for master’s and doctoral degrees or specialised training courses — in order to raise the capabilities of young researchers at the centre and the ministry’s engineers, especially the engineers of the mechanical and electrical departments.
Moreover, the meetings Sweilam reviewed the current preparations for holding water activities within the upcoming UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP27) that will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh this November, and the expected Japanese participation in these important events, where they will present the latest Japanese experiences and applications related to the use of solar energy in the field of water desalination in small plants during the activities of the water pavilion held within the conference.