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Egypt keen on resolving Nile row

BUSIA
By | December 3rd 2010

By JOE OMBUOR

Egypt is willing to resolve the long-running controversy over River Nile waters.

Ambassador Kadri Abdelmottaleb at the same time said they were helping conserve water towers like the Mau and others feeding the river.

He said countries of the Nile basin should enjoy cordial relations because they had a lot to share.

He said it was pointless falling out over the 74 billion cubic metres of water reaching Egypt while the bulk that falls in the basin as rain is lost through misuse, evaporation, bushes and other factors upstream.

"What reaches Egypt is a small fraction of what goes to waste. It is that wastage that we must salvage," the envoy said when he called on the Standard Group Deputy Chairman and Chief Strategist Paul Melly at the Group’s officers on Mombasa Road, Nairobi. Mr Melly said Kenya could learn a lot from Egypt.

Standard Group Deputy Chairman and Chief Strategist Paul Melly (left) met Egyptian Ambassador Kadri Abdelmottaleb, who paid him a courtesy call at Group’s officers on Mombasa Road, Nairobi, Thursday. At right is Chief Editor and Assistant Director John Bundotich. [PHOTO: MAXWELL AGWANDA/STANDARD]

"We in the media look to Egypt with its highly developed Press infrastructure from which our journalists could benefit through exchange visits. This can also benefit farmers who want to learn more about rice growing and modern irrigation, " said Melly.

The envoy said Egypt’s technological development could help modernise Nairobi’s chaotic public transport system.

"Egyptian contractors built Cairo’s underground railways and tunnels that cope with a population of 29 million by day and 18 million by night. They can assist Nairobi handle its transport," he said, giving the example of Arab Contractors, Egypt’s largest construction firm that built the Aswan Dam and constructed a tunnel.

Medical facility

The ambassador announced Egypt was in the process of establishing a medical facility in Kenya once land was available. The country will also sink 150 boreholes in arid areas.

Abdelmottaleb said his Government would donate 25 square metres of land at the Cairo Trade Fair for Kenya’s entrepreneurs. The envoy said the balance of trade was currently in favour of Kenya at US$380 million largely as a result of tea exports.

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