Egypt's irrigation ministry on alert for heavy rain season

Ahram Online , Sunday 20 Nov 2022

Egypt's Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Hany Sewilam has issued instructions to raise the level of readiness at all irrigation, drainage, and mechanics departments in preparation for the rainfall season.

This picture taken on November 1, 2022 shows a view of the Nile river between Egypt s capital Cairo (R) and its twin city of Giza (L). - The Pharaohs worshipped it as a god, the eternal bringer of life, but the clock is ticking on the Nile. Climate change, pollution and exploitation by man is putting existential unsustainable pressure on the world s second longest river on which millions of Africans depend. AFP


In a meeting on Sunday, the minister called for ensuring the readiness of lifting and emergency stations and torrential rain protection facilities, in addition to the purification of spillways.

The meeting also reviewed means of maintaining safe water levels in canals and drainage systems, according to a statement by the ministry following the meeting.

A 50 percent chance of light rainfall is expected starting Tuesday through Friday in several areas nationwide, including Greater Cairo, according to the weekly bulletin of the country's Meteorological Authority.

Egypt, through its rain-forecasting centre, can monitor the quantities and locations of precipitation three days in advance, the minister said, noting that this data is always provided to all relevant government bodies so they can act accordingly.

The irrigation ministry also, based on the data released by the forecasting centre, lowers the water levels in canals and drains in areas where heavy rains are forecast so that the networks can absorb the additional water.

Minister Swailem said the irrigation ministry has various measures for dealing with the rainy season, be they long-term, seasonal, or proactive measures.

As part of the long-term measures, Egypt has established 1,400 facilities to help protect citizens, cities, tourist facilities, Bedouin villages, roads, communication lines, and others, during the rainy seasons.

The measures also include collecting the rainwater to help Bedouin communities to reuse it for drinking, grazing and for refilling aquifers, according to the ministry's statement.

Furthermore, the seasonal measures entail periodic inspection of spillways and immediately dealing with any encroachments on drains to ensure the water flows smoothly. 

The statement added that any obstacles or backfilling works in these spillways would lead to a rise in the water and cause the surrounding lands to sink.

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