A Beheira village after the heavy rains (Photo:Al-Ahram)
Egypt's irrigation ministry announced on Wednesday that the volume of rainfall that fell on the coastal governorate of Alexandria and the Delta governorate of Beheira few days ago was unprecedented and equal to the amount of the average annual rainfall on both governorates, MENA state news agency reported.
"The amount of rainfall reached 700 million cubic feet," the ministry said in a Statement on Wednesday. "It's an unprecedented amount of rainfall that the sewage network cannot face, "the statement added.
The statement added that Irrigation Minster Hossam Al Moghazi announced the status of emergency in both governorates by cancelling the vacations of the technicians and the engineers responsible of handling the maintenance of the sewage networks.
Since the end of last week, Alexandria and Beheria witnessed heavy rains that disrupted daily life, leaving one dead in Alexandria and 25 dead in Beheira.
Last Monday, Beheira Governor Mohamed Soltan declared Monday off for 68 schools due to heavy rainfall that fell in four cities in the governorate, MENA reported.
From Wednesday until Saturday, all 3,000 schools in the governorate were closed due to the floods caused by the heavy rains, according to the agency.
On Sunday, the presidency announced in a statement that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will allocate LE1 billion from the Tahya Misr (Long Live Egypt) fund for the development of the sewage system in Alexandria and Beheira in northern Egypt.
Meanwhile, the United Nations linked Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned in a statement on Wednesday that the "extreme weather conditions" in northwest Africa could "favour desert locust breeding."
"Extreme weather events, including torrential downpours, have the potential to trigger a massive surge in locust numbers. Rain provides moist soil for the insects to lay their eggs, which in turn need to absorb water, while rains also allow vegetation to grow which locusts need for food and shelter,” said Keith Cressman, FAO Senior Locust Forecasting Officer in a statement.