The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) is supporting the Egyptian government reform its national water management and irrigation programs, Egyptian officials said on May 19.
Egypt’s ministries of irrigation and water resources and agriculture signed an agreement with GIZ last week for the second phase of the reform program, in Beheira, Kafr El-Sheikh, Gharbiya, Sharqiya, Daqahliya, Sohag, Assiut, Qena, Minya and Beni Sueif governorates.
Under the agreement, the German agency will help the ministries rehabilitate old irrigation systems used in the Nile Valley and the Delta. It will train Egyptians on state-of-the-art water management systems and create new water user associations in rural areas.
The three-year program is supported by a $6.5 million USD grant from GIZ.
Germany’s financing institutions have played a key role in Egypt’s water and irrigation reforms over the past couple of years.
Last August, German development bank KfW allocated $25 million USD to complete an irrigation improvement project in the Egyptian Delta.
The Egyptian government earlier this year launched a major initiative to improve irrigation systems nationwide.
Funded by a $200 million USD loan from the World Bank, the project will convert surface irrigation systems to drip irrigation, with the goal of saving around 13 billion cubic meters of water annually.
By the time the project is complete, the government will have replaced old irrigation systems with state-of-the-art technologies on around 2.2 million hectares of agricultural land nationwide.
Egypt is seeking international funding for this project. The country’s various water agencies expect around $153 million USD this year from the European Union for irrigation reforms.