Cairo (People’s Daily) - The local government of Cairo on Wednesday launched an initiative to impose heavy fines and conditional imprisonment on residents who waste water, especially by using it to spray streets and wash cars.
The fine ranges from 5,000 to 10,000 Egyptian pounds. The average monthly income in Cairo is around 5,000 pounds (around $300).
Abu Fida Street in Zamalek, a traditionally affluent neighborhood, witnessed the first application of the rule.
A resident was fined 10,000 pounds by urban administration officials for using too much water while washing his car.
In a press statement, Cairo governor Atef Abdel Hamid Mostafa pointed out that unnecessary street spraying and car-washing would not only waste water, but also leads to the erosion of sidewalks.
Abdel Hamid said the chairman of the Water and Sanitation Company notified the Cairo governor six months ago about the fact that the daily amount of water wasted in Cairo alone stands at about 1 million cubic meters.
“The amount of waste is very large at a time when we need every drop of water,” Abdel Hamid added.
“The total water share of the Cairo governorate stands at 55 billion cubic meters per year since the revolution of 1952, when the population of Egypt was about 20 million citizens. We were rich at that time,” he said. “But now the per capita water share stands at 600 cubic meters per year.”
Abdel Hamid noted that Egypt has now reached the stage of “water scarcity”, which is worse than “water poverty”, the criteria for which is 800 cubic meters per capita per year.
(Saeid Medhat contributed to the story)