Egypt's prosecutor-general summons five officials over last week's floods in New Cairo
Ahram Online, , Wednesday 2 May 2018

Egypt’s prosecutor-general Nabil Sadek summoned on Wednesday five Cairo officials for questioning after heavy rainfall last week caused floods that damaged property in New Cairo, a suburb on the eastern outskirts of the capital.

The upscale suburb was the area hit hardest by heavy rains last week, which flooded roads and apartments and submerged cars.

On Wednesday, Sadek summoned five urban, municipal and sewage officials for questioning over the rainwater accumulation that took place in the city, a statement by the public prosecutor’s office said.

The officials summoned are the deputy head of the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA), the municipal head of New Cairo, chairman of the Great Cairo Sewage Company, and the chief legal officers at NUCA and the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater.

Residents of New Cairo took to social media during the two days of downpours last week to express their frustration at the perceived negligence by officials and emergency departments, sharing videos and photos showing rainwater on the streets as high as one metre deep.

Others blamed what they said is poor infrastructure in New Cairo.

Housing ministry spokesman Hani Youness said last week that the heavy rainfall was the first of its kind since the satellite city was built more than two decades ago. He said the crisis was worsened by power outages that caused sewage lifts to fail.

On Wednesday, the public prosecutor also ordered the formation of a committee of urban development and engineering professors as well as members of the country’s main anti-corruption body to inspect drainage systems at the affected area.

The committee is tasked with identifying the reason behind the floodwater accumulation and the power outage, as well as estimate the amount of money spent on maintenance and take legal action if any wrongdoing is determined to have taken place.

The heavy rains last week, which began on Tuesday, blocked parts of Cairo and shut down its ring road for several hours, trapping people in their cars through the night.