Why is the Egyptian Government mulling over private sector involvement for the joint desalination project

Desalination is vital for Egypt, especially in the provision and production of drinking water. Over the years, Egypt has been suffering from severe water scarcity. This has been from Uneven water distribution, misuse of water resources and inefficient irrigation techniques which has put the country’s water security at risk.

Egypt water crisis has also had problems ranging from Population Explosion, Inefficient Irrigation (Less than 80 mm of rainfall a year) and the pollution of river Nile. But the question is why has it taken them so long to implement this process.

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In a bid to help solve this problem, the nation has announced earlier this year that it will invest US$50 billion over 20 years. The first step was to build two seawater desalination plants in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. This plant will aim to increase Desalination capacity from 100,000m3 to 250,000m3 of water per day. The plan is to have the first plant deliver 20,000m3 of water daily while the second plant will produce 130,000m3 of water per day.

Why private sector involvement is vital

The Government is mulling over implementing private sector into the Desalination project. For me, Private sector involvement is key as it provides a sound institutional and regulatory environment for infrastructure investment. It also helps create a strong believe in the citizens that the nation’s water problem will soon be over.

Meanwhile, the Government has invited companies to submit their proposal as negotiation will begin next month. The aim for the joint desalination with private sector is to add 1.7m cubic metres per day to the desalination plant by 2020.

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Additionally, Holding company for water and wastewater (HCWW) plans to establish 16 plants with a capacity of 671,000 cubic metres per day.

HCWW Chairperson, Mamdouh Raslan said ”The saltwater Desalination is one of the solutions to meet the increasing demand of drinking water in Egypt. Especially with the steady increase in population and fixed share of the Nile water.”

Egypt should seriously consider private sector especially as it involves citizen health. The Ministry of Housing should have implement private sector instead of now saying they are thinking about implementing it.

The big question is, ”will the private sector come up with a good proposal to help solve these problem or will Citizens continue to wait for the government to continue with their mulling?

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