The Holding Company for Water and Wastewater released a statement on Tuesday, announcing that it has halted operations in 35 water stations in five governorates due to the high levels of turbidity which were caused by floods, local media reported. Stations have been stopped in Giza, Qena, Sohag, Fayoum, and Beni Suef.
The general manager of the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater was not available for comment.
Following heavy rainfall and flooding that hit Upper Egypt over the weekend, on Monday the Nile river turned brown and murky, causing citizens to question the reason for this change in the waters and the effect it may have on the populace.
The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation spokesperson, Waleed Hakiki, told Daily News Egypt that the turbidity does not have any effect on drinking and tap water. “The state of emergency announced is just a preparation measure,” he said.
“If the reason behind this colour is the top soil coming from Ethiopia then it’s for the best, as it is going to wash out all impurities and insects, and it will also feed the silt,” the senior adviser to the minister of environment, Dr Hussein Abaza, explained to Daily News Egypt. He stated that before the dam was built in Aswan, “the colour of the river was just like how we see it now during this time of the year. When you’d ask the farmers when he’ll pick his harvest, he’d tell you after the flood, which tells you how important this turbidity is for agriculture.”
However, urban activist Atef Amin told Daily News Egypt that this turbidity is due to water pollution and denying this fact is considered a disregard of people’s intelligence. Amin, who is also the founder of the Egyptian Coalition for Urban Development, said that there are underprivileged areas that are endangered due to their location near the mountains. Manshiat Nasr, El-Ma’ssara, and Wadi Hof are areas lacking the appropriate infrastructure to deal with such circumstances, he said.
Latest reports from the Ministry of Health said that 26 people died and 72 were injured following heavy floods in different governorates across Egypt since Friday.