CAIRO: President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi told Egyptians that negotiations with Ethiopia over its Renaissance Dam are “on the right track,” Youm7 reported.
The comment came during the inauguration of the first phase of “1.5 million feddan reclamation project” which aims to expand the country’s farmland by 1.5 million feddans.
“I understand your worries but…. I have not and will never let you down,” said Sisi.
The 1 million feddan land reclamation project was announced shortly after Sisi took office in June 2014 in a move to boost the agriculture sector, which constitutes 17 percent of Egypt’s GDP. The target has been increased from one to 1.5 million feddans; a feddan is equivalent to approximately one acre.
The way we are dealing with the dam issue is mainly based on the international agreements signed in that regard, Sisi said, adding “We understand that the dam represents an industrial boom to Ethiopia and we are contributing to their welfare in a way that does not harm Egypt’s interest.”
After 12 rounds of talks between foreign and irrigations ministers from Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, the three countries reached Tuesday an agreement about the consulting firms that will conduct studies on the Renaissance Dam.
The project targets land reclamation in different areas of Egypt’s western desert including the Qattara Depression and Toshka region where a total of 600 groundwater wells are being drilled, Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazy was quoted by Youm7 Tuesday.
“The first phase includes reclaiming 10,000 feddans located at Farafra’s Amal village where a total of 50 groundwater wells will operate by solar-powered pumping stations for irrigation purposes,” Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazy was quoted by Youm7 Tuesday.