The Kafr El Sheikh Wastewater Expansion programme (KESWE) is a proposed expansion of wastewater treatment facilities in the Kafr El Sheikh (KES) Governorate, located approximately 125km north of Cairo, Egypt.
The project is identified as a priority project under the European Union’s (EU) Horizon 2020 Initiative, prepared by the Mediterranean Hot Spots Initiative – Project Preparation and Implementation Facility (MeHSIP-PPIF) led by the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The programme aims to reduce the pollution of the Mediterranean Sea by 2020 by handling the sources of pollution such as municipal water, urban wastewater and industrial pollution, which account for roughly 80% of the overall pollution.
An affiliate of the national Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW), the Kafr El Sheikh Water and Sanitation Company (KWSC) is responsible for the implementation of the project.
Upon commissioning, the project is expected to serve 500,000 residents across 79 villages in the KES Governorate. It will create approximately 37,000 man-years’ work during the planning and construction phase, and 1,400 jobs a year during the operational phase.
A comprehensive environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) of the project was completed in 2013. A grant of €32m ($35m) was awarded for the project by the European Union (EU) in December 2015.
KESWE programme objectives
The sewage infrastructure in Egypt serves just 40% of the country’s population. In addition, 90% of the existing network serves urban areas, while the rural community remains underserved and is facing severe environmental threats and health risks.
The new wastewater infrastructure will provide better sanitation services to roughly half a million consumers in the region. It is anticipated to significantly improve the health standards of the community by providing wastewater collection and treatment services to rural communities in the Motobas, Desouk and Burullus districts in the KES Governorate.
It will also improve the quality of irrigation water in the water bodies such as the Nile, Lake Burullus, the main fishing lake in Egypt, and the Mediterranean Sea, by protecting them from polluted wastewater.
Improved sanitation services will further contribute to increased collection rates and revenue streams, which further help to develop financially sustainable sanitation projects in future.
The project will also yield certain indirect benefits including improved quality and quantity of fish in Lake Burullus, safer agriculture production, job creation, and favourable conditions for tourism on the Mediterranean coast.
Details of the expansion programme
The KESWE programme will include the construction of two new waste water treatment plants (WWTPs), expansion of three existing WWTPs, and the construction of 697km of sewerage lines with the installation of 52 pump stations in the city.
The project is designed to comply with the EU requirements for urban wastewater treatment, and the Egyptian standards for the wastewater treatment technologies and the quality of treated wastewater. It will use existing treatment techniques and infrastructure available in Egypt.
The development will be executed in two phases. The first phase will be carried out in priority areas, which include two clusters in the Motobas and Desoul districts, while phase two will focus on the remaining six clusters.
The programme will be implemented through a project implementation unit (PIU) within the Kafr El Sheikh Water and Sanitation Company.
Investment and financing for the KESWE programme
The total investment for the programme is €164m ($180m), €77m ($84m) of which is being financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has granted a €55m ($60m) loan in December 2014.
The EU Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) has also promised a €32m ($35m) grant, which will be used for project construction, supervision, technical assistance, and operation and maintenance support.