CAIRO: A total of 280 million EGP ($36.7 million) have been allocated to counter floods in South Sinai in 2015/2016, and 1 million acres will be reclaimed in the western desert after prerequisite studies were carried out, according to a Sunday presidential statement.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi held a meeting Sunday with Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and the ministers of housing, irrigation, investment and agriculture to follow up on the latest projects.
The dam and lakes of Watir Valley in Nuweiba fended off a “disastrous floos” only two days after their construction in the winter of 2014/2015, Minister of Irrigation Hossam Moghazy said at the meeting. In the past 10 months, Moghazy’s ministry allocated 450 million EGP to counter the governorate’s floods, while only 73 million EGP were dispensed from 1996 to 2013 for the same reason, he added.
In the winter of 2013/2014, strong floods in South Sinai inflicted damages of 800 million EGP, according to Moghazy. South Sinai hosts some of Egypt’s most luxurious Red Sea resorts and is a famous destination for tourists.
For his part, Minister of Housing Mostafa Madbouly presented a study on reclaiming 1.8 million acres, 1 million of which in the western desert’s Farafra, Dakhla and Siwa Oases.
The study presents the first phase of reclaiming 4 million acres promised by Sisi in his 2014 electoral campaign to increase Egypt’s cultivated areas and increase crops demanded for exporting.