The project includes several new and exciting features, including access to water across five governorates, and pedestrian bridges over the Nile.
Assiut has seen the inauguration of the New Assiut Barrage Project on the Nile River on Sunday, making it Egypt’s latest hydroelectric project, and as a part of a series of “mega developmental projects” taking place in Upper Egypt.
The New Assiut Barrage Project was inaugurated by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi this week, making it Egypt’s latest hydroelectric enterprise. It is considered to be one of the Nile’s largest water projects, following the High Damn and Nag Hammadi Barrage. The barrage will deliver irrigation water, reaching 20% of agricultural lands in Egypt. Up to 130,000 families and farmers in Giza, Fayoum, Beni Sueif, Assiut and Minya will have access to clean water and electricity from this stage of the project, the Ministry for Water Resources said, adding that the hydroelectric plant currently produces 32 megawatts. The project will also, reportedly, save up to EGP 130 million each year on fuel consumption.
The German Development Bank (KfW) is a major partner of Egypt in this venture, contributing 300 million Euros. The barrage took six years of laborious work before completion, the German Ambassador to Egypt said. Germany and Egypt have previously cooperated before between 2002 and 2008 for the construction of Nag Hammadi barrage.
In addition, Minister of Water Resources, Mohamed Abdel Ati, mentioned a project which will help implement the use of water bridges for pedestrians to cross. “There is an ambitious project called ‘The Walk of the People of Egypt’ to rehabilitate the course of the Nile,” Abdel Ati said during the inauguration. The pedestrian bridge is planned to be 100-kilometres long, and implemented in a number of governorates, Abdel Ati added.
The project can also save up to EGP 130 million each year on fuel consumption.
“We will transform the Nile River into a corridor for trade, tourism and development, and cooperate with the Nile basin countries in the fields of digging wells and removing weeds,” Abdel Ati said.
Bassem Rady, spokesman for the president's office, said that Upper Egypt is being prioritised when it comes to developmental strategies.
Climate change is slowly worsening over the years, and will have a weightier impact on some countries more than others—especially Egypt. This puts Egypt in an urgent situation, requiring it to improve its infrastructure and water ventures. Building water bridges will also aid towards creating 3,300 solid job opportunities, Daily News Egypt said in 2015.
All images from Lahmeyer International.