NORTH SINAI DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
1-Great project of purpose
As Egypt moved to maximize its water resources utilization, one can watch history in the making... For the first time in modern history, Nile water was flowing through the Sinai Desert . This water will turn 400,000 faddans of North Sinai green. By turning a large chunk of the Sinai into farm-land, the scheme will expand Egypt 's inhabitable land.
The 261 km El-Salam Canal begins at a point near Damietta , runs eastward and then dips down 14 meters to pass under the Suez Canal in four tunnels to reach the Sinai Desert . Costing LE5.7 billion, completed by 2002, the canal will terminate at a point south of El-Arish. Only around 16.5 per cent of the funding for the North Sinai development project is foreign, mainly from Kuwait , Saudi Arabia and Japan .
2- Peopling Sinai
Peopling Sinai is of great strategic importance to Egypt , not only to enlarge the country's populated area, but also to serve as a buffer zone on the Nation's eastern flank, after the experience of the 1967 war when Israeli armors rolled right across Sinai meeting little or no resistance.
3- Further details
The digging of El-Salam Canal began at the seventies. On its completion, El-Salam Canal will extend for 86 kilometers west of the Suez Canal and for 175 kilometers across North Sinai , carrying 4.4 billion cubic meters of water annually.
Its sources will include not only the Nile , but treated agricultural drainage water. The section west of the Suez Canal cost LE 300 million, and irrigates 220,000 feddans of agricultural land in the governorates of Damietta , Daqahliya, Sharqiya, Ismailia and Port Said .
Around LE 850 million has been spent so far on the eastern section, most of which came from the Kuwaiti Economic Development Fund, which provided Egypt LE 655 million in soft loans; hence the name Sheikh Jaber El-Sabah Canal at the point where the tunnels emerge from beneath the Suez Canal.
The Saudi Arabian Economic Development Fund provided LE 83 million. The four tunnels took nearly four years to complete at a cost of LE 188 million. Horizontal agricultural expansion in Sinai requires providing it with irrigation waters from the Nile , in addition to the other water resources it has, such as rains and subterranean waters.
Hence the proposal of providing the Delta area and North Sinai with fresh waters of the Nile by means of a new canal that carries water from the front side of the Damietta barrages and culvert successively.
4- Significant studies
Many Studies have been conducted, on the route of El-Salam Canal and the necessary water intakes, areas to be irrigated, sub-canals, sites of lifting and mixing stations and the priorities of implementing the project. The estimated overall area to be irrigated by means of the Canal is about 620,000 feddans, including a considerable area east of the Suez Canal , representing the first phase of the project.
El-Salam Canal takes its supply of water from the right side of Damietta tributary at km 219, Adlia city before the dam that was designed to balance the Nile water level before it at 1.7 to allow feeding the Canal with waters at level of 1.6 behind its intake according to maximum needs. Benefiting from some of the waters of Alsro Al-Asphal drainage, Bahr Hadous drainage is to be used again in watering purposes through mixing them with the fresh water at a ratio of 1:1. Water is to be checked and analysed periodically during years of plantation and readjusting the ratio of mixing in the light of changes in soil and waters.
The project lied in the area between parallels of latitude 30.40 and 31.25 and longitudes 13.40 and 33.40. The course of the Canal penetrates the governorates of Damietta , Daqahlia, Sharkia, Port Said , Ismailia and North Sinai .
The intake of the Canal was chosen in this site to avoid the population areas, and so that the course of the Canal may go with the course of existing waterways. This makes easier execution works, averting as much as possible dismembering agricultural land, in addition to making use of the current bridges.
The Canal takes the south eastern side passing near Al-Attawe drainage to the site of Al-Sero, where it is possible to benefit from 2 million cubic meters of water daily that can be mixed with water of El-Salam at km 17, 850. According to hydraulic slope of the water 5cm/ km, the water level of the Canal at km 22 reaching 0.50 adapts to the topography of the area and the technical needs of designing. The course of the Canal goes eastwards behind the station of lifting pump parallel to Al-Taweel Bahari drainage. A space of 100 metres was left between the utilities of the Canal and the drainage to cover filteration line.
At km 39,150 the Canal intersects with Al-Taweel Bahari drainage where it goes westwards until it crosses Bahr Hadous drainage at kilo 51,200 where two stations for lifting and mixing were established. It is then diverting to cross Bahr El-Baqar drain through the culvert at km 19,650 and El-Salam Canal at 77,325 to the east until it meets the Suez Canal at km 27,800. Water is carried in a tunnel under the Suez Canal about 1300 metres long, so as to irrigate the lands of proposed expansion in Sinai, amounting to 400,000 feddans in Sahl El-Teena and the coastal area between Romana, Arish, Alser and Qwareer. Designing of the culvert was underway in preparation for its construction, and also dust and industrial works, pump stations, electrical switches and managerial buildings.
Since the course of the Canal goes in some parts over agricultural land and the other part goes through Al-Manzala lake, dust works have been carried by means of dredgers. As for the course of the Canal inside Al-Manzala Lake , it was constructed by means of dusts taken from the lake to be transported after being dried. The cubic volume of dust works amounted to 58 million cubic meters, including 42 million cubic meters transported directly from Al-Manzalla lake with an estimated cost of LE 33 million.
El-Salam mouth barrage, at cost of LE 3.5 million, was constructed on the Nile, Damietta tributary, the right bank at km 219. It consists of 5 openings of iron concrete, shoulders and roofs supported on 530 piles of reinforced concrete. The width of the road over the barrage is 16 meters, 2 meters for the pavements. Its capacity is 10 tons, its discharge of water reaches 12 million cubic meters.
Expulsion culvert, at a total cost of LE 2 million, is about 6 iron and steel pipes, 16 mm thick with two-meter diameter. It is used to let expulsion water pour in Al-Manzala lake. Feeder of the Canal has two-opening barrage, the width of the opening is 4 meters, made from reinforced concrete supported enough.
Pumping station no 1 on km 22, at a cost of LE 1 million, including civil works of the station comprise 10 units, with discharge capacity of 16.5 m3. Annexed to the station are residences for the engineers and the managerial staff. The culvert is at km 51,700 under Hadous drainage. Since the drainage is navigational, reaching Al-Manzalla lake, EL-Salam has to pass under it through a culvert made of iron pipes (12), at a cost of LE 14 million. It is at km 77,325 under Bahr Al-Baqar drainage at km 19,650.
The Canal crosses the drain through a culvert of iron steel pipes 16 mm thick. The estimated cost is LE 15 million. Mouth barrages are 22 and have been carried out to serve the canals and side canals to irrigate the area to be reclaimed and irrigated west of the Suez Canal in the first phase of project. There are seventeen reinforced concrete bridges supported on piles and built with a capacity of 70 tons at a cost of LE 8.6 million.
Costs of that first phase of project on mouth of the Suez Canal are exactly as follows:
Dust work to dig the canal and pave some bridges cost LE 33 million. Civil and mechanical work and managerial buildings cost LE 35.45 million. Construction of irrigation and mixing stations, electrical switches and industrial works for culverts, barrages, mouths and bridges cost LE 49 million. Total cost is LE 117,450,000.