Egypt Reaches Water Poverty Stage: Local Development Minister

Egypt Reaches Water Poverty Stage: Local Development Minister

Image Credit: Terrazzo/Flickr

Egypt’s Minister of Local Development, General Mahmoud Shaarawy, declared on 20 May that Egypt had reached water poverty based on the universal standards set by the United Nations (UN).

Shaarawy’s statement came during his participation in the Water Security in Africa seminar during the Africities Summit in Kenya.

According to the UN’s international water standards, if annual water supplies drop below 1,000 cubic meters per person, the country is experiencing water scarcity. Shaarawy shared that Egypt currently has around 550 to 580 cubic meters per person – well below the water poverty line.

Shaarawy, while presenting satellite map images to reveal Egypt’s reliance on the Nile, cited the existing Nile dispute as one of the primary causes for the country’s water depletion.

“Water in the African continent should be a tool for cooperation and construction, not for discord or tension between people,” affirmed the Minister.

The Nile dispute was set in motion in 2011 when Ethiopia began construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) shortly after Egypt’s 2011 Revolution.

The GERD, which is located in the heart of the Blue Nile, has become a source of concern to both Egypt and Sudan over the past decade, as the countries believe it poses a threat to their vital water supplies and agriculture. Ethiopia, on the other hand, considers the dam essential for the country’s economic development and electricity production and denies it will affect Egypt’s water supplies.

Several negotiation attempts over the dam between Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan have failed, with the three parties currently at a standstill. Meanwhile, Ethiopia has already filled two stages out of the dam’s estimated seven, with the third stage expected to start filling this July.

Back in the Africities Summit, Shaarawy also presented Egypt’s plans to deal with its water struggles. This includes the government’s plan concerning policies in rationalizing water use, seawater desalination, lake purifications, national projects for lining water channels, and transitioning to more modern irrigation systems for better water conservation.

The minister calls for a pan-African movement to ensure the water security of Nile River countries, citing it as one of the core issues for both Egypt and the continent. Shaarawy hopes that through this unity, no country is harmed and that the interests of all parties are achieved.

No Cases of Monkeypox Reported in Egypt: Preventive Medicine Sector
Egypt Bids Farewell to Veteran Actor Samir Sabry, Aged 85

Subscribe to our newsletter


With a deep interest in politics and society, Shereif is a journalist that chronicles Egypt’s ever-changing political climate – aided by his bachelor’s in Political Science. On the side, Shereif works as a communications associate for a local consultancy firm. When he’s not working, you can find him playing chess, supporting Chelsea, or walking his dog.

More in News

Egypt’s Presidential Elections will be Held in December 2023

Farah Rafik25 September 2023

Egypt Delays Onion Export Ban to October

Shereif Barakat24 September 2023

Egyptian University Student Develops ‘Egypt Metro’ App for Seamless Navigation

Farah Rafik23 September 2023

Bridging Egyptian Artists and the World: ‘Forever is Now’ Exhibition Returns at the Pyramids

Egyptian Streets22 September 2023

Egyptian Minister of Environment to Co-Chair COP28 Negotiations on Climate Finance

Muhammed Kotb21 September 2023

Sunken Sanctuary of Aphrodite and Temple of Amun Discovered in Egypt

Shereif Barakat20 September 2023

Egypt’s New Capital Plans to Sell 10% of its Shares

Egyptian Streets19 September 2023

El Gouna Film Festival Shares Details for Sixth Edition

Heidi Aref19 September 2023