The remote residents of Egypt’s North Sinai Peninsula are members of several ancient Bedouin tribes, which for centuries moved across the desert searching for water. Now, thanks to a $50 million partnership between USAID and the Government of Egypt, the water will instead be coming to them.
Over the years, the North Sinai’s shallow wells, as scattered as the Bedouin communities themselves, have been running dry. The Bedouins suffer from health problems related to low hydration, and the lack of water for cleaning food is linked to high incidences of diarrheal disease. Drinking untreated water has also led to a prevalence of kidney disorders. Bedouin households, which receive limited amounts of water from private trucks, must supplement their water supply by bringing in more over great distances at an extravagant expense.
“They are suffering,” says Mamdouh Ahmed Ismail Raslan (Mamdouh), chairman of the Government of Egypt’s (GOE) Holding Company for Water and Wastewater, which is responsible for the water and wastewater sector in all but one Egyptian governorate. “They suffer from not being able to get water every day.”