Egypt Celebrates “World Water Day” with EU

Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, in cooperation with the European Union, hosted the “World Water Day” ceremony on Sunday, entitled “Accelerating Change”; in the presence of Hani Sweilam, the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, and Christian Berger, the European Union Ambassador to Egypt.

Sweilam said that the annual celebration of World Water Day is an extension of Egypt’s interest in optimizing water resources, mainly the  Nile river.

He added that the celebration reflects the participants’ interest in working together for a better tomorrow to serve our goals and aspirations towards comprehensive and sustainable development.

The minister also pointed out that climate changes represent the biggest challenge in water management. “We have witnessed massive floods in many countries, wildfires in the Mediterranean countries, and an unprecedented rise in temperatures in all countries all over the world, which requires rapid intervention.”

He noted that this serious climatic moment requires us to cooperate and redouble efforts towards adopting effective policies and rational management of our water resources from a more comprehensive concept while striving hard for their development and achieving a more robust and efficient management of our water resources to meet current and future needs and achieve the desired sustainable development.

“During the last 15 years, the European Union has provided over €550m in grants to help Egypt overcome its water difficulties, generating €3bn in investments for the sector. By generating 25,000 jobs for Egyptians, the investments have raised the standard of living for more than 20 million Egyptians, or one-fifth of the population.” Christian Berger said.

Berger added that 600,000 temporary employment opportunities were made accessible. According to Berger, the EU investments in wastewater treatment plants such as the Ard Al-Liwa facility and the Helwan Wastewater Treatment Plant have made safe drinking water available to hundreds of thousands of Egyptian families.