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CAIRO – 17 October 2018: Egypt signed an agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) worth €214 million to support the Kitchener Drain depollution project.
The agreement was signed by Egypt’s Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr and EIB President Werner Hoyer at the headquarters of the EIB in Luxembourg.
“As the world’s largest lender in the global water sector, we are signing today a new agreement supporting the depollution of a crucial drain in Egypt. This project will have a great impact, as it will make sanitation services more available and improve the quality of water and farming conditions in the Nile Delta region,” President of the EIB Werner Hoyer said in the signing ceremony.
“Overall, the project will contribute to raising the living standards of Egyptians in many governorates. Our finance for the project comes under the Economic Resilience Initiative that seeks to improve the resilience of the Egyptian economy and build stronger socio-economic infrastructure,” Hoyer added.
EIB said in a statement that this agreement is the first phase of a larger investment program that was identified by an EU financed pre-feasibility study under the supervision of the Mediterranean HotSpots Investment Program II.
According to the statement, the project aims at the depollution of the 69 km long Kitchener Drain, which extends across the governorates of Gharbia, Kafr El-Sheikh and Dakahlia in the Nile Delta region. It is structured as an integrated depollution project comprised of investments in wastewater and sanitation, solid waste, and drain rehabilitation – a first of its kind in Egypt.
The EIB’s financing supports investments in domestic wastewater collection and treatment comprising both the rehabilitation and expansion of existing and the development of new infrastructure. In addition, the EBRD will finance the solid waste and drain rehabilitation components of the project. Moreover, the EU is supporting the project through a substantial grant contribution of €45.8 million through the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF).
“The EU- Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) contribution will finance both investments and technical assistance and is critical to catalyze the investment,” the statement read.
EIB said that the project will improve the water security of communities and ecosystems, improving the quality of life and socio-economic development of a predominantly rural area, expecting that up to 6 million people will benefit from the new and improved sanitation and solid waste services as a result of the foreseen investments.
As per this agreement, EIB finance to Egypt is raised to €740 million in 2018, including funding the water and wastewater sectors as well as SMEs and Mid-caps.
“The bank is also hoping to extend additional financing to projects in the wastewater and transport sector (up to additional €430 million are planned for these sectors) and in support of SMEs and Mid-caps until year-end,” the statement noted.
In February, the EBRD approved €210 million in loans to Egypt for the Kafr El-Sheikh Kitchener Drain depollution project.
The Kitchener Drain extends 69 km and passes through the governorates of Kafr El Sheikh, Gharbeya and Dakahleya and discharges into the Mediterranean Sea.
Pollution of the Kitchener Drain emanates from three main sources: domestic wastewater (poorly treated and/or untreated) from numerous villages within the three governorates, uncontrolled municipal solid waste disposed along the banks and into the drains, industrial wastewater discharge, and fertilizers and pesticides discharges from the agricultural drainage system.