AFMA at a glance

Project title
Anticipatory Flood Management in Alexandria, Egypt (AFMA)
Lead partner Stichting IHE Delft Knowledge Institute Netherlands
Partner 2 Holding Co. for Water and Wastewater (HCWW) Public Egypt
Partner 3 Alexandria University Knowledge Institute Egypt
Partner 4 Montaser General Contractors Co. Company Egypt
Partner 5 GRID, Group of Integrated Design Company Egypt
Partner 6 Alexandria Business Association NGO Egypt
FDW theme
☒ Sustainable access to clean drinking water and sanitation (including waste)

☐ Efficient water use, mainly in agriculture

☒ Improved river basin management and safe deltas

Secondary FDW theme(s)
☒ Sustainable access to clean drinking water and sanitation (including waste)

☒ Efficient water use, mainly in agriculture

☐ Improved river basin management and safe deltas

Project purpose
This project will lead to sustainable Anticipatory Flood Management (AFMA) in Alexandria, Egypt. AFMA will reduce flood probability and impact , it will foster rainwater harvesting and storage and will serve as a catalyst for upscaling to other Arab city regions.

The AFMA approach contains mitigation actions to reduce flood generation and impacts during extreme weather incidences. The approach entails capacity development on how to prepare for flooding and increase flood resilience of the build environment (incl. rainwater harvesting and storage), improved information and communication based on early warning to enhance participatory flood resilience – to be achieved by strongly involving women in project design and execution – and the establishment of a PPP Flood Risk Management Unit to sustain AFMA beyond the project duration.


AFMA will lead to the following SWF 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.


AFMA is one of the very first anticipatory water management systems to be implemented in an urban context in a developing country. This is why AFMA can be considered a game changer, with huge potentials for upscaling.

AFMA’s key outcomes and outputs are:

1. Outcome: assessment of flood risk in Alexandria and local flood risk mapping; from no flood risk information towards 90% flood risk mapping accuracy compared with state-of-the-art. Outputs:

– Capacity build with Egyptian partners for flood (modelling) prediction and preparedness.

– Flood model in operation for generation of flood risk maps

– Comprehensive flood study of the Alexandria Region

2. Outcome: Flood probability reduction with 25% during 10% heavier rainfall than in the October 2015 Flood. Outputs:

– Establishment of Flood Management Unit (Staff, Equipment) at HCWW

– Integrated Anticipatory Flood Management programme: including:

  • in the flood zone: (vertical) evacuation of people, protecting critical infrastructure and buildings using perimeter and building aperture technologies (demountable barriers, temporary flood gates, door guards, etc.), removing valuable assets (e.g. cars), cleaning drainage system
  • outside the flood zone: smart rainwater harvesting/storage technologies (household/building and neighborhood level), cleaning drainage system
  • in the peri-urban zone: enhance storage capacity wetlands/lakes (lowering water levels using pumps, improve irrigation/drainage infrastructure).

3. Outcome: A) Increased flood resilience in Alexandria through the implementation of an Early Warning System (EWS) for dealing with ‘extreme rainfall events’ emergencies, in advance of their occurrence; and B) Increased self-reliance for urban poor in Alexandria in flood scenarios. Outputs:

– Realisation of Early Warning System (the Delft-FEWS-system)

– Participatory Flood Resilience Plan, with focus on vertical evacuation

– Awareness creation on flood risk realized among community, incl. the development of an E-learning platform

– Integrated Water Management Plan for Alexandria finalized and incorporated in relevant policy documents

– Curriculum development on Flood Management at Alexandria University

4. Sustainable Anticipatory Flood Management System leading to 25% flood probability reduction and 80% reduction of flood impacts in Alexandria and serving as a catalyst for upscaling. Outputs:

– Assessment report of the FIETS sustainability of the AFMA System

– Identification of 15 areas for potential upscaling of the AFMA system and upscaling commenced at 5 other cities.

AFMA will train directly:

200 staff members at professional and academic level for Anticipatory Flood Management;

500 (mostly female) water ambassadors;

and via train- the- trainer approaches, supported by e-learning:

Over 1 million citizens, 400.000 vulnerable people, 100.000 local professionals and businesses, 500 students/researchers (academic level).

Project summary
This project will lead to the operationalisation of a sustainable Anticipatory Flood Management System (AFMA) that is based on and embedded in the development of an Integrated Water Management Plan for Alexandria. AFMA will reduce flood impact and foster rainwater harvesting and storage in Alexandria and serve as a catalyst for upscaling to other Arab city regions.

In 2015 Alexandria, Egypt, experienced severe rainfall causing heavy impact flooding: about 60% of the city area was flooded up to 1.0m. Some areas remained flooded for over 15 days. The responsible authorities did not anticipate on and were not prepared for this extreme flood event. Both the economic and societal impacts were huge, especially for the poor.

Flooding is disastrous for poverty alleviation. This certainly holds true for Alexandria with nearly 30%  of Alexandrians living below poverty line.  Urban migration (including influx of refugees) and climate change will exacerbate the risk of flooding in Alexandria.  There is a great need to provide an anticipatory flood management system to enable Alexandria to become self-reliant in flood resilience – both mitigation and adaptation wise.

Besides implementing short term measures to increase flood resilience, the project focuses on sustainable institutionalization of a flood management system by installation of a local Flood Management Unit. AFMA incorporates:

  • 5-10-day rainfall forecasting to support local flood risk mapping and prediction;
  • flood resilient retrofitting of vulnerable buildings and critical infrastructure and upgrading of the water (drainage and irrigation) infrastructure system (hardware), reducing flood impacts by 80 % and smart rain water collection;
  • implementation of an Early Warning System (the Delft-FEWS-system).

AFMA applies a pro-poor approach in which community input is actively sought. Capacity building of local professionals and community leaders is key for the implementation of this project. Women will be trained and empowered as both project staff and community Water Ambassadors.

AFMA’s impact will be:

  • improved livelihoods of 4,8 million people, of whom 1,4 million live in poverty;
  • reduced flood impact in a 1,300 km2 area;
  • reduced flood probability by 25%.
  • Reduced flood impacts by 80%.

This project leads to estimated annual societal gains of €2 million. Up-scaling will even further increase these numbers.

Project duration
Start date: 1-7-2017 Final date: 30-6-2024
Project budget
€ 3.281.814

Requested subsidy

€  2.118.828