Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities Assem El Gazzar has announced the pilot operation of the first phase of an EGP 500 mn sewerage treatment plant to serve a total of 450,000 people in Saqlata, east of Sohag, some villages in Akhmim and other neighboring areas, Invest-Gate reports.

Phase I comes with a capacity of 15,000 cubic meters per day. Meanwhile, work is in full swing on the plant’s second and final phase, reaching an 80% implementation rate, with a capacity of 35,000 cubic meters per day upon completion, El Gazzar confirmed in a December 13 ministerial statement.

According to the minister, coverage rates of sanitation services nationwide increased from 12% in 2014 to 37.5% over the current year, as part of the state’s efforts to improve citizens’ quality of life, amidst the North African nation’s ever-rising population figures.

In early December, Egypt’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El Saeed said the total value of potable water and sewerage treatment projects in some provinces so far amount to EGP 2.164 bn, as highlighted in a previous official statement.