Thu, 08 Apr 2021 - 02:50 GMT
Wastewater – Wikimedia Commons
CAIRO – 8 April 2021: Egypt has 146 wastewater treatment plants having a total daily capacity of five million cubic meters, Aide to Minister of Housing for Utilities Tarek Al Refai stated Thursday.
The official pointed out that the total cost of those plants is LE29.5 billion, and that the cost of treating one cubic meter of water is LE10,000.
Refai added that the ministry is working on two other plants. One of them is Bahr Al Baqar whose daily capacity is equal to that of its 146 predecessors combined.
Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala el Saeed announced in January 2020 allocating LE 236 million for supplying the Bahr al Baqar wastewater treatment plant with electrical power.
El Saeed said the facility is expected to treat 5 million cubic meters of water per day to reclaim and cultivate around 400,000 feddans in the east of Suez Canal.
The minister also approved in December the allocation of LE500 million to connecting households in rural areas to wastewater networks.
The first batch is worth LE50 million as 100 percent of households located in 56 villages will be linked to wastewater networks in FY2020/2021 benefiting half a million citizens. The cost of connections per household is LE5,000 to be fully state-funded.
Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Shaarwy told press on November 1 that around 85,000 households located in 106 low-income villages were connected to wastewater networks at a cost worth LE305 million.
The minister did not precise the time frame in which that has been achieved. Yet, he said that the villages lie in 18 governorates, which are Giza, Qalyoubeya, Alexandria, Luxor, Qena, Beni Suef, Menoufeya, Fayoum, Sohag, Damietta, Beheira, Cairo, Suez, Ismailiyah, Kafr al-Sheikh, Menya, Sharqeya, and Asyut.
Citizens pay for such connections in installments. The value of which is LE40.
The coverage of the drinking water network and the wastewater network in Egypt is 99 percent and 65 percent, respectively. It is noted that households that are not connected to the wastewater network have internal wastewater systems that gush out randomly.
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi announced on October 31 that Egypt would inaugurate the largest wastewater treatment plant in the world within eight months.
President Sisi’s comments came during the inauguration ceremony of King Salman University in Sharm El Seikh city, besides other national projects in Sinai.
“The Egyptian state is seeking the maximum benefits from the agricultural wastewater,” President Sisi said, noting that is why the government has established the wastewater treatment plant in the Bahr al-Bakar region, in Sharqia governorate.
The cost of the Bahr al-Baqar water station is estimated approximately at 18 billion EGP, the President said, adding that the additional infrastructure works to facilitate the work activities in this region would increase the cost to 25 million EGP.
In mitigation, Egypt is building the wastewater treatment plant to face a water shortage that could affect around 0.5 million people in Sinai.
The plant will treat sewage and agricultural wastewater of the longest drain (Bahr al-Baqar 1 drain).
The 106-kilometer drain of Bahr al-Baqar starts from Dakahlia governorate to Sharqia, Ismailia to the last governorate of Port Said along the Mediterranean Sea; the longest part is located in Sharqia governorate. The drain was established in 1914 for only agricultural wastewater and was named Bahr al Baqar (means in English as the Sea of the Cow due to an accident when a herd of cows drowned in it.)
In the 1970s, the Egyptian government decided to change the drain to receive all kinds of wastewater (industrial and sewage), turning it into “a source of pollution,” according to a 2015 study conducted by environmentalist Mamdouh Salem Seraj on the drain’s negative impacts on human health and Lake Manzala in the period between 1914 and 2014.