WASHINGTON, June 30, 2011 – There is a significant gap between the sanitation services available to urban Egyptians and their rural fellow citizens. Just a limited percentage of villages across Egypt have access to safe disposal of waste water much of which is discharged untreated into agricultural drains and canals causing pollution which seriously threatens public health and environment.
To address this problem, the World Bank today approved a US$ 200 million loan to support Egypt’s Second Integrated Sanitation and Sewerage Infrastructure Project (ISSIP 2) in four Governorates: two in the Delta Region and two in Upper Egypt.
The main project objective is to provide about 1.2 million people in the Governorates of Menoufia, Sharkeya, Assiut and Sohag with increased access to improved sanitation and sewerage services through the construction of wastewater infrastructure systems in 19 village clusters. The project is to be implemented jointly by the National Organization for Potable Water and Sanitary Drainage and the Holding Company for Water and Waste Water and its four subsidiaries.
“We are particularly pleased to continue supporting improved access to sustainable rural sanitation services in Egypt, given its strong linkages to health and environment,” said David Craig, Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti.
The Government of Egypt attaches high priority to safe disposal of wastewater in rural areas and has prepared a National Rural Sanitation Master Plan, which targets comprehensive sanitation coverage to the populations of all rural Governorates by 2037. In addition, the Government’s National Rural Sanitation Strategy seeks to prioritize sector investments and provide a roadmap to comprehensive coverage of rural sanitation.
The World Bank has been supporting the sector since 2008 with first US$ 120 million loan to support the Integrated Sanitation and Sewerage Infrastructure Project (ISSIP1) in the three Delta Governorates of Beheira, Gharbeya and Kafr El Sheikh. Under Phase 1 of the project, two waste water treatment plants are being implemented in Gharbeya and Kafr El Sheikh Governorates, while five collection network sub-projects are under implementation in Gharbeya Governorate.
Ten collection network sub-projects are being tendered in Beheira Governorate and, once construction is complete, will be connected to the government-financed Lidia waste water treatment plant. The new ISSIP2 project builds on the lessons and experiences of ISSIP1 and further expands the scope of sanitation coverage to the less developed areas of Upper Egypt.
“With ISSIP2, the government is scaling up the sanitation coverage in the Delta and Upper Egypt and, in the process, building the capacity of the implementing agencies,” said Parameswaran Iyer, Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist and the project’s Task Team Leader.
The proposed project is fully consistent with the government’s national priorities of increasing rural sanitation coverage and accelerating development in Upper Egypt, as well as the World Bank Country Assistance Strategy goals of: (a) reducing disparities between Upper and Lower Egypt; (b) enhancing the provision of public goods through expanded supply and improved efficiency of infrastructure services; and (c) strengthening the accountability of public sector agencies such as those in the water and sanitation sector.