The newly-appointed Egyptian Minister of Housing Asem al-Gazzar has announced that 52 water treatment plants are being built in Upper Egypt. 34 of these will be commissioned in the 2018/2019 fiscal year. They will recycle treated wastewater for irrigation.
All facilities under construction are expected to treat 418 million cubic metres (m3) of water annually. The construction of these wastewater treatment plants requires an investment of 8.1 billion Egyptian pounds, or more than $462 million.
Sanitation projects and particularly the construction of water treatment plants have increased in recent months in the country. In October 2018, the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation announced the start of construction of several water treatment plants in Sinai. Among them, the most important is near Lake Manzala, in the Port-Saïd governorate.
Armed Forces Engineering Authority (AFEA), the Egyptian military engineer is building a wastewater treatment plant there. It will be one of the largest resorts in North Africa. It will have a production capacity of 5 million m3 per day. The treated water will be reused for irrigation. AFEA estimates that it will irrigate more than 160,000 hectares, benefiting nearly 500,000 people.
The construction of water treatment plants in Sinai does not only meet the water needs of agriculture or the need to combat the pollution of Lake Manzala. In January 2018, the Egyptian government inaugurated a huge industrial park in the region. It is therefore also necessary to treat the water that will be discharged by the park’s factories. In the city of Mahmasa, governorate of Ismailia, AFEA will thus build another wastewater treatment plant with a capacity of 1,000,000 m3of water per day. The treated water will be used to irrigate more than 20,000 hectares.
According to Asem al-Gazzar, all 52 wastewater treatment plants planned in Upper Egypt should benefit 8 million people by promoting irrigation.