Egypt urges global support to curb floods in Sinai

Egypt Sunday called for global support and cooperation to address the seasonal flash floods that cause great losses in the mountainous Sinai Peninsula.

IANS| Last Updated: Sep 15, 2014, 03:25 AM IST

Cairo: Egypt Sunday called for global support and cooperation to address the seasonal flash floods that cause great losses in the mountainous Sinai Peninsula.

The appeal was made during the second Arab Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction which kicked off Sunday in the Egyptian tourist resort of Sharm el-Skeikh. The three-day event is organised by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Egypt and the Arab League, Xinhua reported.

The meeting aims at highlighting the progress of disaster risk reduction efforts and reviewing the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 in the Arab region.

Speaking at the conference, South Sinai Governor Khaled Fouda said that Egypt needs global technical assistance such as early warning equipment and rainfall monitoring systems to avoid natural disasters mainly caused by heavy rains.

The southeastern district of the peninsula and other several tourist resorts such as Nuweiba and Taba, are subject to flash floods almost every year, especially in the spring and autumn. In May, one person was killed and two others went missing in floods.

In recent years, there has been a pace of increased flooding that has caused significant damage to facilities and seriously affected tourism in the region.

The Egyptian government has allocated about 850 million Egyptian pounds (about $120 million) in past years to relocate residents from valleys and increase the coverage of vegetation, Fouda said, noting that there were still many difficulties due to the shortage of modern technologies.

Fouda also called for further cooperation between Egypt and the UN and other experienced nations to improve the situation.