The programme, which started in 1995, covers seven areas: Mansoura, Sharm el-Sheikh (institutional strengthening only), Nuweiba, Luxor, Kom Ombo, Darawo and Nasr City (Aswan). So far, four construction contracts have been awarded, and bids have been invited for a fifth contract – the second phase at Mansoura. Bidding for contracts in the programme is restricted to US firms and US/local joint ventures (MEED 26:10:01).

CDM Internationalof the US, in partnership with the local Dr Ahmed Abdel-Warith Consulting Engineers, was awarded the initial engineering and design contract for the water and wastewater facilities in 1995. This was later upgraded to include construction management. However, this contract is expected to end on 31 July 2002. USAID says the services will be required until 30 September 2005.

The closing date for the Mansoura phase 2 contract has been put back one month to 28 November. Work entails laying up to five kilometres of pipes for sewage collection and the construction of two wastewater-pumping stations.

The first phase at Mansoura, which mainly involves the construction of a water treatment plant, is being carried out by ABB SUSAin a contract valued at $44 million. It is for completion in 2003 . The US’ Morgantiis working on the Nuweiba project, under a contract valued at $17 million and due for completion in September. A joint venture of Washington Group and Contrack International is working on the $43 million Luxor scheme, due for completion at the start of 2004, and on the $101 million contract for facilities in the Aswan region, on which construction work is expected to be completed by the middle of next year.

USAID is also backing an estimated $100 million programme for the construction of wastewater facilities in the Middle Egypt areas of Beni Suef, El-Minya and El-Fayoum. The revised closing date for bids for the contract on this scheme is 13 January (MEED 26:10:01).