CAIRO – 8 September 2020: Egypt's Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mohamed Abdel Aty accompanied by a delegation from the ministry headed Tuesday to South Sudan in order to discuss reinforcing bilateral cooperation in the water resources realm.
The official visit is held upon the invitation of the South Sudanese counterpart Manawa Peter Gatkuoth. The meeting is the first since the latter was appointed minister as they will follow up on the progress of joint projects that are underway, and inaugurate a project executed by Egypt in South Sudan.
Abdel Aty told press that the irrigation ministers of both countries began joint cooperation since 2006 when they signed an MoU on August 18 of the same year. A technical cooperation protocol was signed later on March 28, 2011. Another protocol on technical and developmental cooperation was signed in Cairo in November 2014 in the presence of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and South Sudan President Silva Kiir.
The projects included in the protocol include the supply of drinking water to South Sudanese citizens, the establishment of river harbors serving both passengers and cargo ships, and river and sewer flow measurements.
The Egyptian minister will check upon on the construction of underground water treatment plants that is under progress in the capital Juba.
It is noted that South Sudan's Sudd Swamp - which is classified as the biggest fresh water swamp in the world and extends for 500 kilometers – has been an area of an incomplete mega-project between Egypt and Sudan and then South Sudan.
The digging of Jonglei Canal began in the 1970s to deliver some of this swamp water (of which 30 billion cubic meters every year is lost by evaporation and deep seepage) to Egypt and Sudan.