Egypt’s population growth and urbanisation trend are driving the country’s water needs. In Nasr El Nuba and Kom Ombo, two districts in the north of Aswan Governorate, water is a rare commodity owing in part to misuse by local farmers. Evidence indicates that half of the water used for irrigation is quite simply wasted and the dilapidated state of the water infrastructure does not help the situation. Leaks in a number of irrigation canals lead to the loss of several litres of water per day. As a result, fields that lie at the end of the irrigation system receive little water and are hard to farm.
Conserving limited resources
In 2012, the SDC started a project in Nasr El Nuba and Kom Ombo to improve the state of the irrigation canals and instruct farmers in the efficient use of water. Repairs have been made to 20 mesqas (third-level irrigation canals) so far, and water leakage has decreased. At the same time, the SDC has set up 20 Water Users Associations from among the farmers and village women in an effort to manage resources effectively and fairly. Every farmer contributes either time or money to repairing the mesqas. This approach encourages a sense of individual responsibility for keeping the canals in working order. The scope of the SDC’s project also includes awareness-raising campaigns to promote responsible farming practices among the populace.