Cairo, May 4, 2011

The regional roadshow to present AFED 2010 report on water, Sustainable Management of a Scarce Resource, reached Cairo, after stops in Beirut, Damascus, Kuwait and, Riyadh. The event was hosted by the Center for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE) at its headquarters in the Egyptian capital. It attracted a host of key players from the water sector, including government and local authority officials, private sector, academics and the civil society.
In her opening statement, the Director General of CEDARE HE Dr. Nadia Makram Ebeid highlighted the importance of adopting effective water policies immediately, to face the most critical resource-based challenge in the Arab region. She said that the event is one among other joint programs between AFED and CADARE, which also include Green Economy initiatives. Following presentation of the report’s findings and recommendations by AFED’s Secretary General Najib Saab and screening of the documentary entitled The Last Drop, Director of CEDARE’s Regional Water Program Dr. Khaled Abuzeid moderated a lively panel discussion on the subject. Participating were HE Dr. Mahmoud Abuzeid, President of the Arab Water Council and former Minister of Water in Egypt, and two of the report’s authors: Dr. Safwat Abdel Dayem and Dr. Hammou Lamrani.

Main issues debated were pricing of water services and increasing water efficiency, stressing the need of placing more weight on demand management. Over 20 participants took part in the lively debate, which was followed by a consultation meeting to discuss the draft of the Water chapter in the forthcoming AFED’s report on Transitioning to Green Economy, taking account of views expressed.