Water and Wastewater Management Programme

Programme description

Title: Water and Wastewater Management Programme (WWMP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Egypt
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities (MoHUUC)
Overall term: 2015 to 2018

Egypt. Monitoring water quality in a laboratory. © GIZ

Under Egypt’s water sector reform, responsibility for providing water and sanitation services in the governorates was transferred to new utilities for water supply and wastewater management. These utilities have been consolidated step by step under the umbrella of the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW), which was founded in 2004. This move towards commercialisation is expected to significantly improve the situation in the water and wastewater sector. However, the political shift and the instability within the country have slowed down reform efforts and have had a detrimental effect on the performance of the service providers. The security situation also remains precarious despite large-scale interventions by the police. Bombings and attacks on the security forces have also unsettled the civilian population. Nevertheless, throughout this period public water and sanitation services have been largely maintained and in some areas even improved. Despite the generally tangible improvements in the operation of the plants, the water and wastewater companies are not yet in a position to provide water supply and sanitation services economically and efficiently.

Services have improved in Egypt’s household water and sanitation provision.

Egypt. Technicians doing repair work at a wastewater plant. © GIZ

The programme supports Egypt’s efforts to reform the water sector in three areas: at the national and ministerial level, in the water and wastewater utilities of the governorates, and in the informal urban settlements and under-served rural areas. Its focus is on implementing the sector policy which was adopted in December 2010. The programme primarily advises the partner ministry on formulating the national sector strategy, revising the water law, and developing national planning and monitoring systems.

Activities in the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW) centre on developing capacities, both among the staff and at institutional level. Through the nationwide dissemination of good practices identified in technical and commercial operations, the programme aims to help the utilities increase their operational efficiency.

In order to compensate for deficits in the provision of water and wastewater-related services, the programme promotes civil society participation in planning and development activities and the involvement of the private sector in informal, urban and disadvantaged rural areas.

The consulting firm GOPA Infra supports the implementation of the project.

The programme’s activities are improving the performance of institutions in the water sector. The measures serve to establish resilient structures, working procedures and quality management processes which, in turn, ensure the delivery of services. By helping to improve water supply and sanitation, the programme is contributing towards socio-political stability in Egypt.

The improved access to appropriate drinking water and sanitation services has many positive impacts that will contribute in the long term to better social and economic conditions. Waterborne and hygiene-related diseases are being reduced due to the programme activities. This, and the removal of the need to spend time dealing with water and sanitation needs, allow people more time to pursue economic activities, or for young people to attend school regularly, particularly in rural areas, thereby making a substantial contribution to education and poverty reduction.

Egypt. Drinking water treatment plant in the Nile Delta. © GIZ


Stephen Greenhalgh