Egypt Independent

30,000 acres in Daqahlia irrigated with sewage



Farmers from different villages of the Aga district in the Daqahlia Governorate have revealed that approximately 30,000 acres in the area were being irrigated with raw sewage from the nearby el-Bazarari irrigation canal.
The farmers noted that sewage was dumped directly into the canal, including house sewage hauled to the canal by truck. The water from the canal was then used to irrigate rice and vegetable fields in the area.
Mahmoud Fouzi and Abdallah Abdel Gawad, farmers from the area, said the irrigation canal is the only source of water for the fields in the area. According to the farmers, irrigation water does not flow through the canal, but rather the canal is filled with the outflow from the Burg el-Nour drainage ditch, through which the sewage from more than 20 villages runs. Lacking any alternatives, farmers are forced to depend on the canal for irrigation.
Wahdan Mohamed Barakat, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Irrigation in the governorate, denied that sewage is being used for irrigation. He acknowledged that some sewage water has made its way into the canal system, but that the water was still safe to use for irrigation. He also noted that trucks did empty sewage into the canals, but said that this was the responsibility of the Ministry of Environmental Affairs.
Mohamed Rageb el-Zaghbi, president of technical support for the Holding Company for Drinking Water in the governorate, said that an estimated 19.5 billion cubic meters of water containing sewage was used in irrigation, which comprises about 25 percent of the water used annually for irrigation in Egypt.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.