CAIRO: A total of 186 feddans have been restored by the government in the Bahariya Oasis west of Egypt after some squatters built walls and dug wells up to 50 meters into the ground, the government announced.
The authorities removed the encroachments, which some citizens practice to form a status quo. Two wells were filled up, several rooms and walls were demolished, and a drip irrigation network was removed, according to the statement by Giza Governor Khaled Zakaria, as Bahariya Oasis is part of the governorate.
The infringements included archeological areas and lands allocated to agricultural reclamation.
Zakaria warned that any violations on state lands would be met with strict measures.
After Egypt’s upheaval in 2011, encroachments on farmland, the Nile River and empty state-owned lands went rampant.
A total of 59, 422 feddans (61,680 acres) of Egypt’s arable land have been lost due to encroachments and illegal seizure of agricultural lands in the wake of the January 2011 uprising, according to an official June report by the Agriculture Ministry.
The government managed to recover only 12,790 feddans (7 percent) of the encroached farm land, the report said.
The Nile Charter Campaign was launched in January to remove 50,399 detected violations on the Nile, which includes constructing illegally on its banks.