Egypt is working on plans to bundle small rural wastewater schemes into larger projects and offer them to the private sector for development in order to improve the provision of wastewater services outside the country’s urban centres.

A senior official in Egypt’s Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development has told MEED that as a result of putting several smaller schemes together, it will launch a number of large scale contracts for rural sanitation services. 

Small contracts for wastewater pipelines and treatment facilities are to be bundled together, under the proposals. “Sanitation in villages is a particular focus and we are investing our efforts into increasing coverage in rural areas,” says Mohammed al-Alfy, Assistant Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development. “This means that there are lots of small scale projects and we are thinking of bundling them with smaller wastewater treatment plants in one area or governorate,” he says. Concept designs for the contracts are currently under way by the Ministry.

Coverage of wastewater services in Egypt is highly variable. There are some urban areas with 100 per cent coverage, but some villages have just 15 per cent. Al-Alfy says that on average two thirds of the country is covered and the rural contracts, along with several major PPPs for wastewater treatment works, are set to bring coverage to 100 per cent.