Egypt unveils new climate change defense strategy

Egypt on Monday announced a new defense strategy to curb the impact of climate change on its coastal regions. The move was spurred by recent warnings of rising Mediterranean levels.

Analysts believe Egypt lacks a coherent approach to environmental degradation which, they allege, poses a threat to the Delta region, one of the country’s most fertile regions.

Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Nasr Eddin Allam said technical protection alternatives are being considered with the aim of preserving facilities located on the coast.

The Beach Protection Authority, according to Allam, has received satellite photos and maritime data necessary for measuring water currents and assessing environmental stability in light of climate changes.

The new scheme also relies on mathematical calculations that help detect changes in water surface levels, the minister said, adding that the authority had implemented several beach protection projects aided by investments valued at an estimated LE1billion, all with the aim of countering erosion.

A UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) report released in April cautioned that flooding represents a risk to Delta lands.

A water surge of 50cm can force around 1.5 million Delta citizens to evacuate, according to the UN report, which quoted 2007 World Bank research as warning that floods may cover 12.5 percent of farmlands.

OCHA’s report claims that some parts of the Delta closest to the Mediterranean are already submerged, including sectors of the old city of Rosetta.

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