Irrigation min. lauds cooperation with Germany

Irrigation Minister Hany Suweilam has stressed constructive cooperation between Egypt and Germany over the past years.

Many water projects have been implemented in cooperation with Germany over the past years, said Suweilam during a meeting with German Ambassador in Cairo Frank Hartmann earlier Monday.

The meeting took up means of boosting bilateral cooperation, especially in light of a deal signed between the two countries in November to rehabilitate canals and waterways in the Delta city of Behaira using environment-friendly techniques.

Cairo and Berlin have agreed to outline technical studies about advanced irrigation systems that should be used in Egypt instead of flood irrigation, the minister said.

The studies should take into consideration the environmental, economic and social aspects of such transition, he added.

Suweilam said his talks with Hartmann also tackled what role, if any, Germany could play to support top-priority water projects, thus contributing to achieving optimal use of water and food security, especially in most vulnerable areas.

He stressed the importance of allocating finances for the process of adaptation and alleviating the impact of climate change.

Eleven water ventures have already been implemented as part of cooperation between Egypt and Germany, the minister made it clear. One such project is the New Assiut Barrages and their hydropower plant, Suweilam cited.

Hartmann said his country is keen on cooperating with Egypt in all fields.

He unveiled German efforts to get the UN to appoint a special envoy for water; a move that was much welcomed by the irrigation minister.

Suweilam touched upon an international adaptation initiative launched by Egypt and a number of world partners, believing it could serve as a starting point toward implementing projects on the ground.

Hopefully, Germany would support this important initiative, which would undoubtedly help handle the negative effects of climate change in developing countries, especially in Africa, the minister said.

Egypt could very well act as an African center for training and building capabilities where adaptation is concerned, Suweilam suggested.

Indeed, Cairo is sharing its expertise in the field of water management with other African nations through its regional training center that is affiliated with the Irrigation Ministry, Suweilam noted.

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