Egypt signed an agreement with the World Bank on Monday to fund the first phase of sustainable sewage projects worth $550m in the rural areas of Beheira, Daqahleya, and Sharqeya, said Prime Minister Sherif Ismail.
Total funding from the World Bank for sewage and sanitation projects within the government’s strategy amounts to $1.1bn, divided over two equal phases.
Cabinet spokesperson Hossam El-Kawish said the signed agreement is part of the national project for sanitation in villages to increase the efficiency of sewage facilities in villages and remote areas.
Minister of Housing Mostafa Madbouly said the programme seeks to improve sanitation services in 155 villages with about 833,000 inhabitants, through the establishment of 167,000 new connections from houses to sewage networks.
The signing of the agreement was attended by Madbouly, Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, and Regional Director of the World Bank in Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti, Asad Alam.
According to the Minister of Housing, the current programme with the World Bank is the first of its kind, aiming to link funding to results, whereby funding is made available according to the targeted results of the project. Madbouly noted that all villages and hamlets that fall within the scope of implementation of the programme will be included.
The programme, according to Madbouly, covers three main objectives: extending sewer services to the targeted villages, sustainable management of the sewage system to these villages, and the private institutional development of water and sanitation facilities.
Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said that the programme aims to develop the institutions and policies to improve the provision of sanitation services in rural areas in the Beheira, Daqahleya and Sharqeya governorates.
The programme is part of a national programme for sewage in villages polluting the Rosetta (Rashid) branch of the Nile and Salam Canal. The total cost of the programme amounts to $2.8bn. Nasr noted that the World Bank will contribute to the funding of the programme with $1.1bn in two phases, at $550m each.
Meanwhile, Alam said the programme also aims to improve the operational systems of the drinking water and sewage system companies, as well as the principles and practices of these companies.
He added that they also target enhancing the capabilities of these companies to improve their operational performance financially and institutionally, and improve the services provided to citizens. This comes in the framework of strengthening the work of the national sector, and creating the right climate to push for more efficient and effective wastewater services in rural areas.
Alam added that the programme is implemented by the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater and its subsidiaries, while the department of rural sanitation will take responsibility for management, coordination and supervision.