Egypt’s Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel-Ati.
Egypt’s Irrigation Minister Mohamed Abdel-Ati has warned that climate change threatens 12-15 percent of the highly fertile Nile Delta lands in northern Egypt as a result of expected rise in sea levels and saltwater intrusion in groundwater.
He made the remarks on Friday during a meeting with Ayat Soliman, regional director of the World Bank Group's (WBG) Sustainable Development Department for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, a statement by the irrigation ministry said.
Abdel-Ati affirmed that Egypt is among the countries most affected by climate change worldwide due to the rise of seawater level. This is in addition to the unexpected effect of climate change on Nile headwaters and other related phenomena, including heat and cold waves and floods.
The minister highlighted the effect of these phenomena on the fields of water resources, agriculture, food security, energy and health.
Abdel-Ati said Egypt is exerting great efforts to become an example of green development in order to confront challenges and curb climate change impact.
During the meeting, Abdel-Ati reviewed the ministry’s efforts to adapt with climate change through implementing mega projects to avoid flood dangers and protect Egyptian beaches.
The ministry’s efforts also include expanding the use of agricultural drainage water as a non-traditional water source to face the growing pressures on the water resources in Egypt as a result of climate change, the minister added.
Abdel-Ati said Egypt has implemented more than 1,500 buildings for protection against the dangers of floods during the past years.
Those buildings have contributed to protecting individuals and vital institutions and facilities against the destructive effects of floods and collecting rain waters to be reused in Bedouin communities in the surrounding areas, he said.
Abdel-Ati said climate change negatively affects water resources, thus jeopardizing sustainable development and the rights of people to water.
His talks with Soliman reviewed a report on climate change and development in Egypt which is being prepared by World Bank experts in tandem with the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation.
The talks also tackled projects and programs for adapting to climate change which are due to be included in the report within the framework of the state's efforts to combat climate change.
Egypt considers addressing climate change a priority, with Abdel-Ati repeatedly warning that Egypt is one of the countries most affected by climate change.
Egypt's Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat and Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad discussed with Soliman last week future cooperation between Egypt and the WBG to forge climate action policies and monitor their impact on catalyzing economic growth and attracting investments to the local market.
The meeting also underscored national efforts in the path of green and sustainable growth by presenting important projects, such as the Bahr Al-Baqar Water Drainage System and the Gabal Al-Asfar Wastewater Treatment Plant.
In July, the Egyptian environment minister participated in the preparatory ministerial meeting held by the United Kingdom for climate talks ahead of November's United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) summit in Glasgow.
During the meeting, Fouad expressed Egypt’s keenness to share its visions and ideas on climate change-related issues.
In an interview with Egyptian state’s news agency MENA later in the same month, Fouad said Egypt proposed to host the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 27) in 2022 amid great support by African countries.