FILE – Floods that took place in Alexandria, October, 2015
CAIRO – 2 December 2018: A number of Parliament members called on the government to prepare effectively for the upcoming winter to prevent any problems in areas where heavy or torrential rains are expected to fall.
Parliament's Undersecretary Soliman Wahdan affirmed that the government should be ready for winter, pointing out that the Ministry of Irrigation has a plan to collect flood waters in certain places so as not to affect the citizens.
Special standards should be set to complete paving roads and streets in a declined way to help in the collection of rain directly to sewage ditches or on the sides of the road, Wahdan said.
He also called for full coordination between the operating rooms in different provinces and the Egyptian Meteorological Authority to take the necessary measures concerning rainfall and prepare systematically to prevent probable negative impact on citizens.
MP Mohamed Abo Hamed warned against the repetition of the Fifth Settlement's 2017 disaster, affirming the necessity of taking arrangements in the cities where floods are expected.
There is a number of corridors or storm drains that may be blocked or not working, Abo Hamed said, adding that they should be checked and fixed. He pointing out that the government has supposedly checked the places where floods usually occur.
In April, videos and photos showing water levels in the streets of the Fifth Settlement and El-Shorouk city rising over one meter went viral; the vehicles were submerged in the flooded districts.
Even though the Egyptian Meteorological Authority warned of unstable weather before the disaster, officials failed to take sensible precautionary measures or provide assistance after torrential rain hit several parts of Cairo and Giza.
Rainfall throughout the capital caused some buildings, houses and bridges to collapse; some governorates such as Suez, Ain Sokhna and Ismailia were also affected. The residents of New Cairo seemingly got the lion’s share of the damage.
For his part, MP Hassan al-Sayed, called on the prime minister and the minister of irrigation to remove the buildings illegally constructed on storm drains in various provinces.
He added that procedures should be taken to protect certain areas from floods, including border governorates such as the Red Sea, and North and South Sinai, pointing out that the government must coordinate with the governors in this regard before the start of winter.
The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation has worked on finishing the preparations for winter rains and downpours by carrying out a plan to check the pumping stations, clear canals, water banks and storm drains.
Mohamed Abdel Aati, an official in the ministry, said in October that the preparation plan included maintenance of all pumping stations nationwide to be ready for sudden rains.
The ministry installed more than 25 emergency units in West Delta near the critical areas to avoid the recurrence of the 2015 floods.
Khaled Madin, head of the ministry's Irrigation Department, said that flood protection projects have been executed, in addition to the projects that have already been accomplished, including 119 dams, about 16 man-made lakes, about 500 underground rainwater tanks, and five channels.
For her part, Nadia Abdel Hamid, a ministry's official, said that a series of flood control projects have been accomplished. The projects included the establishment of numerous man-made lakes, and dams.
In September, Agriculture Minister Ezzedin Abu Stait urged all bodies concerned to take the necessary measures to face possible floods with the beginning of the winter season.