CAIRO: In an effort to protect the Nile its banks from violations such as illegal buildings, the Egyptian ministries of irrigation and water resources launched Monday the “Nile Charter Campaign.”
Minister Hossam Moghazy said that the ministry will form a committee of “Nile Guards” from the two ministries as well as non-governmental organizations, the Ministry of Irrigation Spokesperson Khaled Wasif stated.
Under the charter, the violations on the Nile will be removed within a specific periods that will be announced later in 2015, Wasif added.
The campaign will monitor the situation on both banks of the Nile via satellite and aerial photography; the footage will be reviewed by a committee from Nile Protection Sector of the Ministry, Nile Research Institute and Technical Institute for Surveying.
Over the past three years, the ministry monitored 30,000 violation cases on the Nile, including 7,500 cases in 2014, said Minster Moughazy who signed the Charter in presence of Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and representatives from Al-Azhar and churches.
The Ministry also established a hotline (15116) to report violations on the river, and urged the Ministry of Education and High Education to include curricula on awareness of the Nile protection, said Moghazy in remarks to the reporters Tuesday. He noted the Ministry of Endowment has trained preachers to talk about Nile protection in their Friday sermons.
Moghazy noted that all licenses granted by the ministry for buildings on the two banks of the Nile have been suspended by the ministry until further review, state-owned MENA reported.
The 2014 Constitution stipulates that “The state is committed to protecting its shores, seas, waterways, lakes and nature reserves. It is forbidden to encroach upon, pollute, or use these areas in a way against its nature.”