Sisi witnesses opening of new Assiut barrage project
Sunday، 12 August 2018 - 01:00 PM
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi witnessed on Sunday 12/8/2018 the inauguration of the new Assiut barrage project and its hydraulic power plant at a cost of EGP 6.5 billion.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli, Defense Minister Gen. Mohamed Zaki, House Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal and a host of ministers and senior officials were present.
A Quran recitation initialized the ceremony.
During the ceremony, Administrative Control Authority chief Mohamed Erfan gave a speech in which he stressed that the Egyptian state has adopted an ambitious program of economic reform formulated by the government and supported by the people for their confidence in their political leadership and for their belief that the path of progress and the better future for coming generations require sacrifices.
He said that the program's implementation has gone through a package of monetary and financial reforms that began to yield results including a low public budget deficit, a stable exchange rate and an improvement in the balance of trade.
Erfan noted that promoting investments and development is essential for economic reforms.
He indicated that major challenges face the state in the field of water security and management, noting that among those challenges are the growing population and their concentration in the Nile Valley and the Nile Delta and the fact that "most of our water resources come from outside the country".
He also noted that more awareness of the importance of preserving and securing water resources is required to address these challenges.
Chairman of the Administrative Control Authority Mohamed Erfan said the state was quick to lay down a strategy for using modern technology for rationalizing and upgrading water resources.
Under the 2018-2021 plan, about EGP 40 billion will be allocated for upping water resources by 10 billion cubic meters annually, he said.
Several projects, including digging water wells, upgrading sanitation networks and the agricultural drainage system as well as protection against flooding and coastal zones' protection against erosion, were finalized in the period from 2014 to 2018 at total investments of EGP 30 billion, he said.
He highlighted the efforts being exerted by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi for the optimal use of water resources in order to realize sustainable development.
Erfan said the project of the new Assiut barrage and its power station at a total cost of EGP 6.5 billion will meet the needs of five governorates (Assiut, Minya, Beni Suef, Fayoum and Giza). It will also improve irrigation in a total of 1.6 million feddans, as the new barrage is higher than the old one, he added.
He pointed out to the bridge over the new barrage.
It links the East and Western Nile Banks with a total tonnage of 70 and a width of 19 meters with four traffic lanes, he said.
He said the second project includes the operation of 25 water wells, using solar energy in the New Valley, noting that the Ministry of Water Resources has prepared a program to convert the operation of wells from fuel into solar energy.
The first phase of the program includes 161 wells in each of the New Valley, Toshka, and Wahat of South Sinai, he said, adding that about 48% of this phase has been completed.
Erfan said that the second phase will witness the inauguration of the Sohag museum project, stressing that the state attaches great importance to antiquities.
He said that an accurate field review has been conducted for all antiquities stores nationwide to make sure of the efficiency of their systems, adding that strategic warehouses are being prepared to transport the stored antiquities to them under the supervision of archaeologists.
The Sohag museum project comes in implementation of the state's strategy for development in Upper Egypt, Erfan said, noting that the foundation stone was laid for the project in 1998 and work on it was halted for many years until President Sisi issued directives in 2016 to overcome all obstacles that prevented the completion of the museum.
The museum project occupies a total area of 8,700 square meters at a cost of EGP 72 million.
Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Ati reviewed the projects accomplished from 2014 to 2018 as well as the planned projects for 2018-2022.
He said the water and irrigation sector is facing grave challenges, topped by overpopulation.
He noted that the parliament will review a bill on water resources.
He said the ministry's 2050 strategy focuses on securing water needs, rationalizing water consumption and boosting water resources.
The water resources and irrigation minister said that specific strategies have been merged into a national water plan targeting the period from 2017 to 2037.
The expected investments of this plan are estimated at EGP 900 billion, he said, adding that this is the minimum amount of investments distributed among the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation and the Ministry of Housing, which takes the largest share of sewage treatment projects.
The implementation of the mega plan includes several other ministries, he noted.
A short-term plan has been implemented for the period 2018-2021, costing about EGP 40 billion to improve irrigation efficiency, said the minister.
The minister reviewed also projects implemented during the period 2014-2018, that had a positive impact on the protection of people and infrastructure, storage of flood water, improvement of soil properties, increasing agricultural productivity, protecting and securing coastal zones and facilities, increasing tourism investment opportunities and increasing agricultural areas through irrigation development.
He said that investments worth EGP 30 billion were allocated to the ministry in 2014-2018 to improve the water management system and protect cities, villages and beaches from floods, adding that protection and development works were conducted across the course of the Nile at a cost of EGP 220 million in different governorates.
Minister Abdel Ati said 27 kilometers of the Egyptian coast were renovated at a total cost of EGP 575 million to protect people's lives and properties worth tens of billions against thre threat of coastal erosion.
He noted that President Sisi gave directives to establish a walkway in the North Coast at EGP 10 billion.
He said the initial designs for the walkway were finalized.
As for digging water wells, he said water wells were dug at EGP 1.7 billion.
Today, about 75 water wells fit out by solar energy were opened at a total cost of EGP 110 million, he said.
He said Egypt recycles 33 percent of renewable water, thus topping African states with regard to water usage.
The water resources and irrigation minister said that works to clear water and sewage canals continue throughout the year.
He added that 150 bridges and 200 industrial works have been implemented at a total cost of EGP 3 billion during the past period.
He also pointed out to the Sarabium culvert project which will channel the Nile water under the Suez Canal to the eastern bank. It will help irrigate 70,000 feddans, he said.
The minister said that 582 pumping stations need restoration every year, adding that 17 ones have been developed lately.
Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel Ati said the ministry is keen on using up-to-date technology in managing water resources, especially early warning systems for floods and rain forecasting.
He highlighted Egypt's support for Nile Basin countries, noting that about EGP 400 million was allocated for digging wells, building dams, establishing warning centers and protection from floods.
He said Egypt will continue backing all riparian countries without exceptions.
Under the 2018-2022 program, about EGP 66 billion will be earmarked for improving water management mechanisms as well as protecting towns, villages and coasts of flood dangers in addition to maintaining waterways and water facilities.
He added that "Cairo Week for Water" conference will be held on October 14 through 18, noting that the ministry works on campaigns to spread awareness among people and children on rationalizing water consumption.
He added that upgrading Dayrout Barrage will take place in 2019 - 2022 at a total cost of EGP 1.2 billion.
In Upper Egypt, 930 projects were implemented in 11 governorates at EGP 12 billion investments, Minister Abdel Ati said.
The projects included renovating sewage and drainage networks, digging wells and establishing lift stations, he said.
The New Assiut Barrage project serves multi purposes, he said, noting that the barrage works under a water electronic control system.
The barrage will produce hydraulic power and streamline traffic between eastern and western the River Nile, he said.
He added that the project will secure 3,000 jobs.
He also said that the ministry coordinated efforts with the Ministry of Immigration to draw on the expertise of Egyptian expats on means of confronting water challenges besetting Egypt.
A documentary film about the New Assiut Barrage project was screened, highlighting the challenges that faced the state while implementing the project.
The film showed that it took six years of non-stop work to finalize the EGP 6.500 billion project, the project's manager Gamal Saleh said.
The project aims at improving navigation in the river, cutting crossing time to a record of 11 minutes, avoiding wasting water and generating eco-friendly hydraulic energy.
Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said the ministry's strategy in the hydroelectrical energy generation domain is based on the maximum exploitation of every drop of water to produce energy and the development of existing plants.
Hydroelectrical power projects in Egypt contribute 2,832 megawatt (MA) to the country's power grid, he said, citing the 2,100 MA High Dam, 280 MA Aswan Dam, the 68 MW Esna Barrage, the 64 MA Nagaa Hamadi Barrage and the 32 MA Assiut Barrage.
As for the development of the High Dam, the dam includes 12 generators with a capacity of 175 megawatt each and a compound capacity of 2,100 megawatt.
The High Dam is capable of generating 10 billion kilowatt/hour annually, he said.
He also said the German Development Bank is ready to finance a study on the establishment of micro hydroelectrical power stations in Egypt.