Military plans to contain floods, irrigate land in South Sinai
Minister of Irrigation Hossam Moghazy - YOUM7

CAIRO: The Armed Forces and the Arab Contractors have been assigned projects worth 600 million EGP ($83.9) in South Sinai to protect the governorate from annual floods and to use the excess water in development, South Sinai governor Khaled Fouda told reporters Tuesday.

Minister of Irrigation Hossam Moghazy accompanied Fouda in a visit to Taba and Nuweiba to inspect the construction of several dams and reservoirs after 850 million EGP were lost to roads and hotels damages resulting from overwhelming floods last May.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab agreed to Bedouins’ demands to build dams in the governorate’s valleys in Sharm el-Sheikh resorts and other cities, Akhbar Al-Youm reported Moghazy as saying.

For the first stage, 50 million EGP has been already been granted for the projects in Taba to be completed in April, “as it represents an important tourist attraction in Egypt,” Maghazy said, adding that all projects should be finalized by 2020, Youm7 reported.

In the city of Saint Catherine, 22 artificial lakes will be established to constrain floods, Moghazy said. Artificial lakes in the whole governorate would contain up to 4 million cubic meters from annual rain, which currently drain into the Red Sea. 138 wells will be dug in the north and centre of the 33,140 km2 governorate to water some 600 acres, Masrawy reported.

Sisi recently announced the state would provide nearly 1 billion EGP ($139 million) in compensation for North Sinai citizens who were displaced In North Sinai.

The authorities have demolished 50 percent of evacuated homes along the 14 km border of Rafah with Gaza to create a buffer zone, following an Oct. 24 attack that killed 31 soldiers.

The governorate has been struck with major terrorist and security operations for over a year, but has also suffered marginalization since the peninsula was freed in 1973 from a six-year Israeli occupation.

On Monday, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM,) which is mostly active in Sheikh Zuwayed, Arish, and Rafah, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in an audio posted on Twitter. On Nov. 7, the group vowed to continue with anti-military operations. The social media network removed ABM’s account Tuesday.

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