Amira Hosny, IWMI Communication Consultant, ReWater MENA
With Egypt’s National Steering Committee’s (NSC) members working steadily and ceaselessly towards competently implementing the ReWater project, a number of 14 representatives affiliated to diverse entities, elevated collaboration for combating challenges to higher levels.
Egypt’s Second NSC meeting was held in Cairo’s Center for Environment and Development for The Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE) which brought members together to share achievements, challenges, and guide future strategies on the 18th of December, 2019.
The gathering was led and facilitated by Dr. Khaled M.AbuZeid CEDARE’s regional water resources director and Dr. Amgad ElMahdi the International Water Management Institute’s (IWMI) head of MENA region, who paved the way with an introductory word for Dr. Gihan Bayoumi’s, the regional ReWater MENA project manager from IWMI, brief on the project’s up to date evolution across all three countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon) in the region. Dr. Bayoumi’s presentation provided a brush-up course to the attendees’ on the project’s outputs and expected outcomes.
Dr. Bayoumi’s talk consequently led to Ms. Bezaiet Dessalegn’s, the senior researcher at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), disclosure of the awaited masterworks’ drafts; the national baseline assessment document for water reuse and two site characterization reports. The two site characterization reports included Kafr el Sheikh site and Luxor site in Egypt.
Ms. Dessalegn’s presentation unfolded a number of challenges that triggered the NSC members to further investigate such obstacles and work towards a collective action-plan. The challenges included the accessibility of information in the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW). CEDARE and representatives from multiple governmental institutions including;
(Dr. Kawther Hefny: the head of environment management in the ministry of environment, Engineer Ihab El Hemady: the minister of environment’s advisor, Dr. Ammany M. Selim: the head of water quality sector of the the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), and Dr. Sayed Ahmed AbdElhafez: the (Chief researcher of Soil, water and environment research institute agriculture research center, Ministry of agriculture) all conducted a brainstorming session to build on the action-plan previously tackled for this particular issue.
Members of the NSC gathering exhibited individual commitment to a group effort which provided ICARDA with constructive feedback on the national baseline assessment that will aid ICARDA to further enhance the document and help create a more comprehensive version.
Dr. Hussein Elatfy, the secretary general of the Arab Water Council, proceeded afterwards to enlighten the NSC on the work plan and estimated timings of the Science-Policy Dialogue to take place during 2020.
Curtains were brought down on the gathering after the last presentation. The presentation was given by CEDARE, in which the entity’s progress was presented and also a few points of “what shouldn’t we miss in the baseline” were pinpointed to help ICARDA flag the gaps in the report and fill it.
Last but not least, Dr. Rifaat Abdel Wahab, the head sector, research and development, of HCWW, concluded the meeting with a number of suggestions to work around challenges in Egypt to optimize ReWater MENA project and such obstacles included institutional entanglement, security issues, accessibility to information and political constraints.