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Egypt Asserts That Water Crisis Is a Political Priority

Egypt Asserts That Water Crisis Is a Political Priority

Wednesday, 20 January, 2021 - 10:00
Egyptian Minister of Water Resource and Irrigation, Mohamed Abdel Aaty (File photo: Reuters)

Egypt considers its water crisis a “political priority” especially as the dispute with Ethiopia escalates over the Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD), which Cairo fears will affect its water share.

Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Mohammed Abdel Aaty discussed the necessary arrangements for the fourth edition of “Cairo Water Week” scheduled for October, themed: “Water, Population, and Global Changes: Challenges and Opportunities.”

Aaty explained that choosing ‘population’ as a theme for an international water event for the first time has a direct impact on the sector, given the strong demand to meet populations' needs of drinking and irrigation water.

He said the event helps in implementing economic activities that accommodate the steady increase in population and provide job opportunities.

The minister linked population growth and its related activities to climate change and the increase in emissions.

The Egyptian government wants to implement the latest means to save water, in light of the scarcity of resources and the expected GERD crisis.

Egypt has officially entered the “water poverty” era, in which the per capita share is less than 1,000 cubic meters annually.

The Minister noted that Cairo Water Week aims to raise awareness on water issues, promote innovation to meet urgent water challenges through modern technology, and support and implement integrated water management policies.

He described the conference as “an important annual event” within the context of the state’s interest in water issues.

Water is one of the most important requirements for sustainable, social, and economic development, he added.

The third edition of Cairo Water Week was held last October, despite the fact that most water-related events were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Minister stressed that Cairo Water Week has become one of the most important events related to water issues at the regional and international levels.

Meanwhile, the head of the Irrigation Ministry Planning Department, Iman Sayed, announced that the event has various activities, including the scientific conference, high-level meetings, and regional workshops.

Sayed indicated that the African Development Bank, in cooperation with the European Union, seeks to organize a number of activities at the regional level.

The Bank will also hold a number of technical sessions on adapting to climate change and limiting its impact in coordination with UNESCO, UNDP, and FAO.

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