representatives of the OIC during the fourth session of the Islamic Conference of OIC for Water Ministers in Cairo on Monday, October 15, 2018 - Press photo.
CAIRO – 16 October 2018: Egypt announced its first training grant to countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the integrated water resource management.
The grant was announced by Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation on Monday, Oct. 15 at the fourth session of the Islamic Conference of OIC for Water Ministers, on the sidelines of the 2018 Cairo Water Week.
Water specialists will be chosen from every member state to have a fully funded fellowship at the state-owned National Water Research Center in Cairo for a week, the minister added.
During his speech at the two-day conference, Abdel Atti said that the Islamic world faces many water challenges that will affect food security, environment, and public health; besides the natural disasters of floods, desertification, and famines, which resulted from climate change.
He said that some Islamic countries could face the same fate as some African countries, adding that a lake in Cape Town, South Africa, is about to dry up. “Lake Chad -the sixth largest lake in the world- deteriorated due to drought that hit the African coast,” he said.
The minister affirmed that Egypt’s water share per capita declined to 570 cubic meters per year in 2018, below the international standards of 1000 cubic meters per year, amid the increasing rate of population.
He continued that 1 million Egyptian farmers are vulnerable to lose their source of livelihood if the rate of renewable water decreases by 2 percent.
Meanwhile, Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb said in his speech at the conference that the real problem boils down to the unfair distribution of water.
In the opening session of the conference on Oct. 14, First Deputy of Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Ragab Abdel-Azim announced Egypt’s four-way strategy to mitigate water scarcity that resulted from climate change.
Egypt’s 2050 strategy aims to improve water quality, develop water resources, rationalize consumption and create a good environment to implement this strategy, he said in the speech that was given on behalf of the minister of water resources and irrigation.
Egypt's first Cairo Water Week (CWW) kicked off on Oct. 14 under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, aiming at increasing the public awareness of water rationalization for sustainable development amid a state of water shortage.
The four-day CWW is being held in cooperation with the European Union and the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to tackle water issues, amid climate change that impacts the world’s freshwater.
In March 2016, the United Nations Environment Program warned that 50 percent of the world’s population would face “severe water stress” by 2030.
The 2018 CWW is launched under the title “Water Conservation for Sustainable Development”. It aims at fostering awareness of water issues for sustainable development, facing water challenges via non-traditional methods and modern technology, and supporting implementation of integrated water management.
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