Alexandria is the second largest city of Egypt and hosts 40% of the countries industry and the biggest port (more than 50% of national port activity). It serves the wider Alexandria Region (about 2,210 km2) which has a 70 km coastline. The population of Alexandria is about 4.8 million (7 million in summer). In October 2015 Alexandria, experienced severe flooding due to high intensity rainfall: about 60% of the city area was flooded up to 1.0m. Some areas remained flooded for over 15 days. The responsible authorities could not anticipate the extent of flooding and were not prepared for this extreme flood event. Both the economic and societal impacts were huge, especially for the poor as about 1.4 million inhabitants of Alexandria are poor. As a response to the October Flood the government of Egypt has started to take drastic steps towards the development of a Stormwater Management and Mitigation Programme (SMMP) for Alexandria City to reduce the number of casualties, damages to infrastructure and resulting economic losses resulting from future rainstorms. An official request from the Egyptian authorities to support the development of this SMPP has been sent to the Dutch Government through the Holding Company for Water and Waste Water (HCWW) in November 2015. Within the framework of the ‘Water Mondiaal’ Program Egypt and in close collaboration with the HCWW, the Dutch Delta Team Egypt has conducted a scoping mission for the provision of this support. AFMA is the outcome of this scoping mission and is funded by the Sustainable Water Fund through Netherlands Enterprise agency. AFMA is jointly executed by AFMA team comprising IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Holding Company for Water and Wastewater, Alexandria University, Montaser General Contractors Co, Grid group of integrated design and Alexandria Business Association. Prof. Dr. Chris Zevenbergen is the project leader of AFMA. AFMA will be implemented between July 2017 and 30 June 2024.
The estimated project cost for AFMA is Euro 3.03 million. 70 % of the project cost, which is Euro 2.12 million is granted as subsidy by Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and 30% of the project cost is borne by the partners. AFMA is directly contributing the Sustainable water fund (FDW) theme of improved river basin management and safe deltas.
AFMA will lead to the following Sustainable Water Fund objectives:
- Inclusive development by improving living conditions of 4.8 million people in Alexandria, of whom 1.4 in vulnerable / poor groups, contributing to poverty alleviation. Women will be socially and economically empowered, contributing to gender equity.
- The entire project is designed in a sustainable way, in line with FIETS criteria.
- AFMA promotes a system approach to increase flood resilience and establishes and nurtures a public and private partnership to enhance self-reliance.
- Dutch knowledge and expertise will be showcased throughout the project.
- Reducing the devastating impact of floods (25% probability reduction and 80% impact reduction), ongoing economic growth will be obtained. As the AFMA System requires relatively little investment and results in large societal gains, it will work complementary to large infrastructural (IFI) investment programs.