Sixth Cairo Water Week opens with focus on sustainability, innovation

Ahram Online , Monday 30 Oct 2023

The sixth edition of Cairo Water Week kicked off on Sunday under the theme "Action on Adaptation in the Water Sector for Sustainability," under the auspices of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

The 6th edition of Cairo Water Week.
The 6th edition of Cairo Water Week.

The event is scheduled to run until 2 November, drawing the participation of eminent figures including the Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hani Sweilem, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhi, and European Union Ambassador Christian Berger.

The week is seeing a series of high-level meetings, regional workshops, technical sessions, and presentations by international speakers.

Attendees are showcasing scientific research contributions by experts, professors, students, and graduates.

Concurrently, an exhibition is providing a platform for public and private entities within the water sector to exhibit their innovations and initiatives spanning water desalination, renewable energy, and water technology.

A key highlight of this year's edition of the Cairo Water Week is the launch of the Innovation Award in Water Management, aiming to promote innovative solutions for water management challenges.

Moreover, a cooperation protocol has been established between the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation and a specialized company to develop an integrated platform for Cairo Water Week.

The platform aims to streamline communication and facilitate the management of the week's activities.

Sewilam voiced concern during the inaugural session regarding the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza.

He emphasized the urgent need for basic necessities and condemned the lack of access to water, food, and electricity in the region. Sewilam mourned the lives lost and called for a moment of silence in remembrance of the victims in Gaza and across the world.

The sixth Cairo Water Week is poised not only to delve into advancements in water sustainability but also to address pressing humanitarian concerns, setting a broader stage for critical discussions and innovative solutions in the global water sector.

In her address, Al-Mashat highlighted Egypt's commitment to enhancing international partnerships with multilateral and bilateral development partners in the water sector.

Al-Mashat highlighted the launch of Egypt's National Strategy for Sustainable Development, "Egypt Vision 2030," the National Strategy for Climate Change 2050, and the Nexus of Water, Food and Energy (NWFE) to address sustainability and water scarcity.

The minister said that during the COP28 climate conference in the UAE, Egypt will showcase over a year's efforts in mobilizing concessional funding for NWFE projects and the measures taken, such as debt swap agreements, to attract investments.

Within the ongoing development portfolio of the Ministry of International Cooperation, there are 30 projects valued at $4.741 billion associated with SDG 6 -- Clean Water and Sanitation, representing 19.5 percent of the total official development assistance portfolio. This comprises nine projects for the Ministry of Irrigation and 21 for the Ministry of Housing.

Egypt faces significant water scarcity issues that have been exacerbated by the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The country heavily relies on the Nile River for freshwater for agriculture, domestic use, and industry.

The country’s annual water share is 500 cubic meters per person annually at a time when the United Nations defines water scarcity as twice that quantity.


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