Water shortage turns Daqahlia lands fallow

Daqahlia–Farmers from the Belqas department, in the Lower Egyptian province of Daqahlia, protested yesterday against a 25-day shortage in irrigation waters that has caused 5000 feddans of rice and cotton farms to become uncultivable.

Peasants have accused local officials of re-channeling irrigation waters to lands belonging to powerful owners, leaving them instead with sewage water from the Kitchner drainage ditch.

The farmers claim that officials only allow water to flow to their lands when they anticipate a visit by the undersecretary of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation.

Fayqa el-Ayyouty, a villager, complained that her and her kids are starving, and that many cattle have died due to water shortages. She added that farmers are being imprisoned due to accumulating debts they owe to the agricultural association and the Principal Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit, which exceed LE20,000 per acre.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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