Thursday,20 June, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1424, (3 - 9 JANUARY 2019)
Thursday,20 June, 2019
Issue 1424, (3 - 9 JANUARY 2019)

Ahram Weekly

Mega projects on track

Before the year came to a close, President Al-Sisi inspected progress on some of Egypt’s major development projects, reports Reem Leila


Al-Sisi inspects construction work on Rod Al-Farag Axis
Al-Sisi inspects construction work on Rod Al-Farag Axis

The last week in December saw a flurry of visits by President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi to several mega national projects. The president’s tour included Rod Al-Farag Axis, now in its second stage, the Grand Egyptian Museum and the Pyramids Plateau.

The second phase of Rod Al-Farag Axis extends 16.7km and includes the construction of five bridges: the East Nile Flyover, the West Nile Flyover, and three others passing over Shubra, the Ring Road and Warraq Island, with 10 exits and entrances. The axis is considered one of the largest projects in Egypt’s development plans, Presidential Spokesman Bassam Radi has said. “It offers a new lifeline to Egypt, extending around 600km from the Red Sea city of Zaafarana to the Mediterranean Sea city of Dabaa,” Radi said.

Constructed in tandem with the 26 July Axis, the Rod Al-Farag Axis aims to ease traffic jams in Cairo and its suburbs by connecting north and east Cairo to west Cairo. It will also create new investment and development communities along its route.

Al-Sisi also visited the Grand Egyptian Museum, where around 8000 workers are on site on daily basis. The museum, sprawling over 168,000 square metres, will comprise 100,000 pieces of artefacts. The neighbourhood is also being turned into an integrated tourist, cultural, educational and entertainment destination.

Al-Sisi also inspected the Pyramids Plateau development project which aims to improve the services delivered to visitors and improve the lighting and electronic security systems in the area. The project includes moving the entrance to the plateau from its current location to Fayoum road as well as the creation of a tourist service centre, services area, and an information office in addition to administrative and educational buildings.

During the same week the president also inaugurated Gheit Al-Enab housing project (Bashair Al-Kheir 2) in Alexandria. This second phase of the project is designed to develop Ghait Al-Enab, previously a slum. The first phase included 1,632 housing units. The second phase comprises 1,869 fully furnished housing units. The project aims at providing decent living conditions to people who previously resided in slums.

Bashair Al-Kheir targets the establishment of 30,000 units by the end of its fifth phase at a cost of LE8 billion, Khaled Seddik, director of the Slum Development Fund, said. “The government is determined to put an end to slum areas to provide safe housing for Egyptian citizens,” Seddik said.

Al-Sisi also inaugurated a project establishing 100,000 greenhouses as part of the country’s strategy to develop the agricultural sector. “The inauguration of this number of agricultural greenhouses is unprecedented in the world,” Radi said. Besides the greenhouses, the government is also targeting the reclamation of 1.5 million feddans.

According to Radi, the greenhouses will enable the production of agricultural crops during the off-season, thus possibly boosting exports and providing thousands of employment opportunities.

The greenhouses save 40 per cent of water which would have otherwise been needed in regular cultivation, Radi said, adding that this meets the government’s strategy to rationalise water.

Ending the year Al-Sisi also attended a conference held by the ministries of social solidarity and youth and sports, to showcase the government’s efforts towards those with special needs. The president as well as the government seek to provide individuals with special needs with all types of facilities and rehabilitation to facilitate their lives and integrate them within society, Radi said.

During the conference the president said the government was sparing no effort to support those with special needs, to provide them with the best care, both in terms of working on developing their skills and providing training and rehabilitation services, in addition to discovering and nurturing their talent to enable their effective participation in society.

To quantify the needs of individuals with special needs, the government will prepare a comprehensive statistical list that shows their actual numbers and type of disability to enable better services for their needs.

Al-Sisi said the government has prepared a code for people with special needs to enable them to access better and more targeted health services as well as the necessary medical equipment they might need, at nominal prices.

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