European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) provided a loan of €55m for the expansion of the sewage treatment station in Kafr El-Sheikh governorate, to improve the living standards of about 500,000 citizens in Motobas, Desouk and Borollus cities in the Delta.
This funding will support establishing two new wastewater stations, expanding three stations and fixing 700 kms of pipes and 52 pumping stations.The total cost of the investment programme is €164m.
The European Investment Bank will provide a loan of €77m, as well as a grant of €32m from the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) mechanism affiliated to the European Union.
Sanitation services cover only 40% of Egypt’s population, while the current sewerage network covers 90% of urban areas. Rural areas are still deprived, and face significant environmental threats and health risks.
Head of the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW) Mamdouh Raslan said that wastewater services project in Kafr El-Sheikh, funded by EBRD, will serve 57 villages in seven centres in the governorate.
Raslan added that the project will start early next year and will continue for four years, pointing out that for the first time studies were conducted before starting the project, and therefore work on the project will start immediately after signing the agreement.
“Egypt needs more than EGP 100bn to cover the sewage costs all over Egypt, adding that sewage projects cover 80% of the cities and 12% in villages; a very small percentage,” added Raslan.
Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean in ERBD Hildegard Gacek said that the project is a milestone for our activities in Egypt, not just because of the large loan from the EBRD, but also because of the impact of investment return on local populations and the environment.
“Finally, intensive technical cooperation will show what the bank and its partners achieved through joint efforts,” Gacek said.
Expansion of sewage treatment facilities in Kafr El-Sheikh will contribute to reducing the pollution resulting from untreated sewage.
The project targets the protection of Lake Borollos, the major fishing lake in Egypt, and the Mediterranean Sea from sewage-contaminated water.
The sewage treatment process will help in improving the health of local residents by reducing the incidents of diseases transmitted through water. It will further raise awareness on the dissemination of best health practices.
EBRD is committed, since it began work in Egypt in 2012, to finance 21 projects in Egypt, worth €675m, across a wide range of sectors.
The bank provided direct technical assistance through its “Small Business Support” programme, which has so far benefitted nearly 185 small- and medium-sized enterprises in Egypt.
The bank has invested about €1.5bn in 59 projects since its operations began in the southern and eastern Mediterranean region in 2012.