Saturday,17 November, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1409, (13-19 September 2018)
Saturday,17 November, 2018
Issue 1409, (13-19 September 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Halting floods

The government is getting ready for rain, reports Mai Samih

 

Last winter heavy rainfall left parts of the city inaccessible
Last winter heavy rainfall left parts of the city inaccessible

The Ministry of Irrigation, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, is working with governorates to avoid the dangers posed by flash floods.

Projects to reduce the potential damage caused by torrential rain are being implemented in the governorates of Aswan, Luxor, Qena, Sohag, Assiut, Minya, Beni Sweif and Cairo at an overall cost of LE630 million. Flood defences worth LE215 million were completed in the last fiscal year, with LE113 million worth due to be built in the current fiscal year.

In Cairo protective projects in the Zabaleen district and the 15th of May area in Helwan have been completed. Two dams and an artificial canal and lake have been constructed at a cost of LE8.4 million, and three dams are currently under construction in the Wadi Degla protectorate in Maadi, which was flooded by rainwater last year, at a cost of LE52 million.

 In Aswan projects including dams and lakes have been built at a cost of LE122 million and dam costing LE4.5 million is nearing completion.

Flood water defences in Luxor have cost LE58 million so far, and similar projects are being implemented in Qena, Assiut, Sohag and Minya.

Mohamed Salem, spokesman of the Protectorates Sector at the Ministry of Environment, provided additional details of the projects intended to combat the problems caused by torrential rain.

“There is a project in cooperation with the Ministry of Irrigation to build more dams in the Wadi Degla protectorate and the Tagammu protectorate.” The dams will allow rainwater to drain away safely without flooding roads and homes.

Plans are also in place to temporarily close areas affected by dangerous flooding.

Last winter heavy rainfall left part of Cairo inaccessible, damaged property and forced the closure of parts of the Ring Road.

While in the past occasional periods of heavy rain caused little long-term damage, with excess water draining away naturally, urban expansion and its inevitable impact on the landscape mean such floods must now be carefully managed.

“We are putting in place a system of dams to ensure excess water drains away without causing damage and to avoid the kind of scenes we saw last year in Tagammu,” said Salem.

“Halting flash floods will help maintain environmental balance by preventing erosion, particularly in coastal areas.”

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