The United Nations declared water as a basic human right in 2010. With a population on the rise, pollution increasing, and water conflicts igniting in the international arena, Egypt's supply of freshwater is becoming severely affected. Rural Egypt suffers from water delivery and waste disposal systems that are outdated and unhygienic. The latest Cairo Climate Talks held by the German Embassy held in Cairo brought together experts from academia, the government, and civil society in an attempt to highlight major issues concerning freshwater and how to resolve them.
"Water scarcity is one of the biggest challenges—not just for Egypt—but for the whole region," declared the German Ambassador to Egypt Julius Georg Luy, stressing that the human right to water entitles everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses, as defined by the United Nations.
Among lower middle income countries, Egypt ranks seventh in mortality related to water pollution, disclosed Amena Sharaf, an environmental researcher at the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR):
"Sadly, but also expectedly, the poorest communities are the most affected by diseases caused by water pollution and poor sanitation."
[Photo by Shoko Muraguchi | Flickr]