Govt responds to Nile oil spills in Upper Egypt

Minister of Environment Mostafa Hussein Kamel announced on Wednesday the formation of a Luxor-based intervention unit to combat Nile water pollution following reports this week of oil leaks.

The Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW) closed 12 drinking water stations in Sohag on Wednesday. A total of 18 water stations were shut down earlier in the week in the neighboring governorates of Assiut and Qena as reports of oil leaks have surfaced in several governorates.

Mahmoud Nafie, the head of the HCWW in Sohag, said on Wednesday the oil leak had reached the governorate that day, prompting the closure of the drinking water station in Awlad Salem Bahr village. Residents of that village and of several other towns in Sohag Governorate were forced to rely solely on artesian wells and mobile drinking water units.

Nafie said the stations will reopen after water samples have been tested to ensure they conform to standards.

In Assiut, Mohamed al-Badry, who heads the HCWW in the governorate, said the oil spill is not likely to reach Assiut because authorities in the downstream city of Aswan have said the spill is under control there.

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