The European Union (EU) will sign a new financial agreement with the Egyptian government for the Kitchener Drain shortly, manager of the water and utilities programme at the European Union delegation to Cairo, Ayman Ayyad, said,
Ayyad told Daily News Egypt that constructions at Kitchener Drain—one of the most severely polluted drains in Egypt—might begin by the end of 2018 because tendering procedures and consultant choice will take time, adding, “it is really a big project with €450m investments and we’ve been working on the studies for a long time.”
On 28 February, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced the approval of €210m in loans for the Kitchener Drain depollution project in Kafr El-Sheikh. The first €131m loan will be directed towards rehabilitating the drainage system.
The bank is also providing a €79m facility to finance the purchase of containers and tractors to collect municipal solid waste and construct up to six treatment facilities and five sanitary landfills.
Ayyad said that Kitchener Drain’s probable success will establish a new integrated for bilateral future projects, noting that the Ministries of Housing, Local Development, Irrigation, and International Cooperation are participating in the implementation processes.
Kitchener Drain is one of Egypt’s longest drains, 69 km length, passing through three governorates, which are Gharbia, Daqahleya, and Kafr El-Sheikh, according to Ministry of Irrigation reports.
The project will positively impact 182 villages by eliminating pollution, improving people’s health conditions, and constructing modern infrastructure based on international experiences, said Local Development Minister Abu Bakr El-Gendy in a previous statement.
Ayyad added that the EU is discussing possible cooperation on new projects with the Egyptian government but both sides did not come to a concrete agreement until now, saying that the EU pays increasing attention to water projects as a main pillar of development.
According to previous reports, the EU financed water projects in Egypt with more than €400m from 2007 to mid-2017.