CAIRO: Officials in an Egyptian governorate northwest of the capital Cairo on Tuesday denied reports that villages had been swamped by Nile floodwaters.
Maj. Gen. Hisham Amna, the governor of El-Beheira, said that although there had been a slight rise in river levels as a result of heavy rain, only 17 acres of unoccupied farmland had been flooded.
Media reports had claimed that Nile overflows in Egypt had swamped Al-Sawaf in the city of Kom Hamada following torrential downpours over several days which caused deadly floods in neighboring Sudan.
The Sudanese Ministry of Interior said that 102 people had so far died and 46 had been injured as a result of flooding in the country since the start of autumn.
Egyptian Ministry of Irrigation spokesman, Muhammad Al-Sibai, said that any additional Sudanese Nile river water would be held in Lake Nasser behind the High Dam which protects Egypt from flooding.
“Rainfall rates will be monitored hour by hour, and by the end of September and early October, the size and type of flood will be fully clear. There are sectors in the ministry that are working on how to benefit from this year’s flood,” he added.
Egyptian missions in Sudan and Uganda continuously monitored Nile water levels and the Egyptian General Authority for the High Dam kept a check on levels in Lake Nasser, Al-Sibai said.
“The flood rates have been promising so far and we’re working to manage this flood well and rationally and invest it in the years when the floods will be scarce.”
He pointed out that 588 industrial facilities had been established to protect provinces from flooding.
The spokesman noted that when the High Dam reached its storage capacity, surplus water was discharged. He pointed out that while flooding this year had been above average, it had not presented a danger.
“What happens in Sudan does not happen in Egypt and the water is drained according to specific programs based on water needs, and larger quantities can be disbursed. We also preserve the waterway from bottlenecks and encroachments,” Al-Sibai added.
The Egyptian ministry responsible for water resources had already carried out work to deal with any potential flooding, he said, and protection installations and sewers had handled recent heavy rainfall in Qena, south Egypt.