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News Anger at water cuts and poor infrastructure boils over into street protests in poorer parts of Egypt

Drinking water shortages have left parts of Egypt going thirsty for up to two weeks in the run-up to Ramadan, with popular frustration over the failure of authorities to tackle the crisis spilling onto the streets.

For some areas in the country’s south, the shortages last for days and are more likely to strike poorer areas with stronger severity, a resident told Middle East Eye.

Egypt has a track record of poor water infrastructure. The Aswan High Dam, which opened in 1970, is notoriously inefficient. The open canals are used to irrigate crops, for example, which means that up to three billion cubic metres of water – or the equivalent of 1.2 million Olympic-size swimming pools – is lost each year through evaporation.

For this reason, water crises are nothing new to Egypt. It has already fallen below the United Nations’ water poverty threshold, with per capita water availability decreasing by more than 60 percent over the past 40 years according to Egypt’s official statistics agency, CAPMAS.

Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
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Source of information middleeasteye
Keyword(s) drinking water,
Geographical coverage Egypt,
News date 16/06/2016
Working language(s) ENGLISH