Egypt prepares for Nile floods, warns citizens

A view of the Nile river beside fields in Al Quratiyyin island, in Giza, Egypt September 20, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 23 September 2020

Egypt prepares for Nile floods, warns citizens

  • The minister said that there should be a daily report on the land and buildings affected by high water levels

CAIRO: Egypt has warned people about Nile flooding, telling local authorities to take precautionary measures to minimize damage and loss of life. 

The Ministry of Irrigation informed various governorates that some of their land risked being submerged as a result of flooding and high water levels.

Egyptian Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty said on Tuesday that the warnings were being issued so that people could take preventive steps and become aware of the expected dangers, despite the fact they were living or farming illegally in the at-risk areas.

He directed the heads of central departments to coordinate with governors and local authorities and for them to inform ministry agencies about infringements and violations on all waterways, especially on the Nile River course, with removal decisions to be sent to military prosecution offices for legal action.

The minister said that there should be a daily report on the land and buildings affected by high water levels. 

The El-Beheira governorate sent information to local units on the Nile in the Rosetta Branch, stressing that measures should be taken in response to rising river levels in the coming days.

The leaflet included instructions to evacuate homes, buildings, livestock pens and fish cages. It also called on all residents of Kom Hamada, Itay El-Barud, Shubrakhit, Rahmaniyah, Mahmoudeya and Rasheed, to evacuate their homes and all buildings, livestock pens and fish cages.

“The lands threatened by drowning from the river overflowing are initially the property of the Ministry of Irrigation and have been subjected to building and agricultural encroachments by some people and despite, these violations, the Nile Protection sends warnings to the agricultural administrations and locals to alert farmers of an expected increase in the water level to avoid losses,” Amer Shukry, a ministry official in El-Beheira, said.

Agricultural land in the Kom Hamada district was submerged at the start of September as a result of high water levels. 

The head of the General Authority of the High Dam, Hussein Jalal, said that the ministry was ready to face the most violent flood in Egypt’s history.

He explained that it had been fully prepared to deal with the flooding since last May, and the priority was to ensure the safe level of collected water behind the High Dam and its discharge to waterways according to the attributed rate.

Jalal confirmed the technical conditions of the High Dam and Lake Aswan and the full readiness of all dams and overflows, explaining that the dam was able to deal with the current flood.


Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert moved to notorious Tehran jail

Updated 10 min 28 sec ago

Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert moved to notorious Tehran jail

  • During a previous stint at Evin, Moore-Gilbert reported being held in restrictive conditions and needing psychiatric medications for “gravely damaged” mental health
  • Friends believe she is now being held in the same ward as before, a facility controlled by Iran’s hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps

SYDNEY: An Australian academic held in Iran for more than two years has been returned to Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, friends said Friday, prompting fresh concern about her wellbeing.
Kylie Moore-Gilbert — who is serving a 10-year sentence on charges of espionage — had disappeared inside Iran’s prison system a week ago, sparking frantic efforts to learn her whereabouts.
“I’m relieved that the Australian government has finally managed to locate Kylie six days after she went missing,” friend and fellow Middle East expert Dara Conduit told AFP. “But make no mistake: this is not a win for Kylie.”
Conditions at Evin are believed to be marginally better than Moore-Gilbert’s previous jail at Qarchak — a women’s facility that has been blacklisted under UN human rights sanctions and is notorious for the ill-treatment of political prisoners.
During a previous stint at Evin, Moore-Gilbert reported being held in restrictive conditions and needing psychiatric medications for “gravely damaged” mental health.
Friends believe she is now being held in the same ward as before, a facility controlled by Iran’s hard-line Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Australia’s foreign ministry has said securing her release is an “absolute priority,” but was forced to admit this week that her whereabouts were unknown.
“We do not accept the charges upon which Dr. Moore-Gilbert was convicted, and want to see her returned to Australia as soon as possible,” the ministry said after ambassador Lyndall Sachs was able to visit her in Qarchak Prison on October 19.
Throughout Moore-Gilbert’s internment, friends and family have become increasingly critical of what they say is Australia’s ineffective diplomatic approach.
According to Conduit: “Not one iota of progress has been made in her case, despite the government’s assurances that Kylie’s case is under control.”
She called Moore-Gilbert’s transfer back to Evin “an utter indictment of the Australian government’s failure on Kylie’s case.”
“After 778 days, she is back at square one in the prison in which she was originally held.”
Moore-Gilbert was reportedly arrested at Tehran airport by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in September 2018 after attending a conference in Qoms.
She is just one of several Westerners being held in Iran on national security grounds.
Negotiations with Tehran are notoriously difficult, with governments and families forced to decide if quiet discussions are less likely to antagonize captors, often against a fraught geopolitical backdrop.
Iran’s complex political and judicial system — which sees hard-liners, reformists and myriad state institutions vying for influence — can make things more complex still.