Egyptian parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal said MPs are closely following the latest developments related to negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
“In this respect, let me declare that Egypt will never waive its rights to the Nile waterm because this is a matter of life and death and it is an existential matter for all Egyptians,” said Abdel-Aal, adding that “parliament has full confidence that the national political leadership is defending the rights of all Egyptians.”
Abdel-Aal said the ministers of irrigation and foreign affairs have done a good job supervising the negotiations in Washington over the GERD dam. “We are sure they are defending the rights of all Egyptians,” said Abdel-Aal.
Addressing MPs on water issues in a plenary session on Tuesday, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel-Ati said the ministries of irrigation and foreign affairs have been leading the negotiations over the GERD in Washington.
“All I can say is that we stressed that we need every drop of the Nile water and that we can never give up our rights in this respect,” said Abdel-Ati.
Abdel-Ati said Egypt’s quota of the Nile water stands at 55 billion cubic metres. “This was our quota when our population was just 20 million, and we still have the same quota when we are now 100 million,” said Abdel-Ati.
“In 2050, Egypt’s population will reach 170 million, and this means that we will need at least an additional 7.5 billion cubic metres of water to cover the population’s growing water needs.”
20 bln cubic metres recycled yearly
Abdel-Ati said Egypt is number one in Africa in terms of efficiency in using the Nile water. “We are the most efficient country in using the Nile water and in this respect let me say that Egypt recycles 20 billion cubic metres of the Nile water every year to cover its growing needs.”
At the same time, said Abdel-Ati, Egypt is working on different fronts to rationalise water resources.
“The government will invest as much as EGP 100 million in water resources in the next ten years,” he said.
“We are building dams, lakes, reservoirs, and desalination stations to save as much water as possible.”
“We remove 20 million tonnes of garbage every year from the Nile water canals and to help fight pollution,” said Abdel-Ati.
The irrigation ministry has declared a state of emergency ahead of bad weather expected in Egypt in the next two days.
“We are in a state of emergency all over the year, but there will be an exceptional one in the next two days as Egypt is expected to face storms and rainfall in some parts like North Sinai,” said Abdel-Ati, adding, “we will face a very difficult wave of bad weather and we have to be ready from now.”