Egypt’s cabinet ratified during its Council of Ministers meeting on January 2 four agreements with preferential funding terms for water, sewage treatment, and sanitation projects in a number of governorates across the country, Invest-Gate reports.

The first agreement, a KWD 15 mn facility from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), will be used to set up four desalination plants in South Sinai, aiming to meet the growing demand for drinking water, reduce the losses in water transport networks, and protect public health by providing potable water for the area’s residents, according to a recent cabinet statement.

The four stations will be established in the cities of Sharm El Sheikh, Abou Redis, Nabq, and Taba, with a production capacity of 56,000 cubic meters per day, and the project will include the transfer of desalinated water from the four stations to the distribution tanks in these cities.

The second, a KWD 25 mn facility also from KFAED, will go towards the construction of a sewage treatment facility in Bahr El Baqar, a small village on the outskirts of Sharqia Governorate.

Meanwhile, the third and fourth agreements, EUR 79 mn and EUR 69 mn from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), will be utilized for the Kitchener Drain depollution project, the statement added.

According to the statement, the 69-kilometer Kitchener Drain is Egypt’s main agriculture drain and is spanning across the governorates of Kafr El-Sheikh, Gharbia, and Dakahlia in the Nile Delta region and the funds will be used to improve the sanitation and solid waste services for approximately 6 mn people in the Nile delta region.

The latter project had also received funding from other sources. In October 2018, Egypt and the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a EUR 214 mn deal to support the project; the total financing comprises EUR 148.3 mn from the EBRD, in addition to a EUR 46 mn grant from the Neighborhood Investment Facility (NIF), Egypt’s investment ministry said in a previous statement.

Under the project, nearly 24 water waste treatment plants will be upgraded and six drainages will be expanded, according to the statement.

During the meeting, the cabinet also agreed on establishing a USD 50 mn textiles free zone in the 10th of Ramadan city, which comes within the state’s keenness to develop Egypt’s industry sector and to work on the development of the country’s spinning and weaving industry through benefiting from the expertise of investors involved in this project.