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Lake Manzala Engineered Wetland Project

by Millie Ngoka last modified May 04, 2016 11:35 AM
Project Logo
A rough comparison between the LMEWP and conventional treatment methods suggests that the capital cost of engineered wetlands can be 1/4 that of conventional treatment methods, and operation / maintenance costs are also lower. The open advocacy approach used by the project, which sought to maximize the involvement of relevant organizations and push for the merits of the technology, has been beneficial, contributing to a strengthening of national interest in the engineered wetlands. During the course of facility construction, the LMEWP was sometimes subject to criticism from conservationists and ecologists due to confusion as to the purpose of the wetlands.
GEF ID: 395
Project Category: Wastewater
Project Description:

This project, being implemented by the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, is demonstrating an approach to achieving sustainable development while addressing deteriorating water quality in Lake Manzala. The project will empower local residents and build the capacity of nongovernmental organizations and government institutions to achieve Egyptian self-sufficiency in an innovative technology.

Specific objectives include

  • (a) promote sustainable development by enhancing environmental and economic opportunities at the local and national levels and
  • (b) construct and operate a demonstration wetland that will treat 25,000 to 50,000 cubic meters of wastewater per day before it enters Lake Manzala.

Activities Capacity building.

This component will increase capability for sustainable development in managing Lake Manzala, including local and national participation. This involves activities to

  • (a) strengthen and promote community involvement in environmental management activities,
  • (b) build capacity and develop human resources to ensure that the engineered wetland can be operated and replicated on a regional scale, and
  • (c) disseminate lessons and experiences of the project at global, national, and community levels.

Engineered wetland technology.

This component will demonstrate a low-cost, efficient method of treating large bodies of water in Egypt and promoting a cleaner Mediterranean Sea.This will involve

  • (a) completing preconstruction planning and activities,
  • (b) constructing the demonstration wetland treatment system, sediment pond, engineered wetlands, and aquaculture facility,
  • (c) implementing innovative wetland technology, and
  • (d) establishing a monitoring and evaluation system to enable the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency to maintain the wetlands' expected performance levels.

In addition, biomass will be harvested and processed into marketable products. The clean effluent water will be used for an aquaculture facility to produce juvenile fish stock for the lake and other aquaculture ventures. Benefits Reduce pollution flowing into Lake Manzala and the Mediterranean Sea Protect diversity and enhance habitats of fish, bird, and other aquatic species Reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from anoxic drain water Improve economic well-being and health of local residents Strengthen local and national institutions in project delivery and implementation Demonstrate sustainable, low-cost alternative to traditional waste treatment Increase environmental awareness of local citizens



Project document signed in June 1997. Long delays in preparatory process in view of identification need to move location of wetland which entailed new socio-economic, engineering, biochemical, etc. surveys. New project site identified and allocated on 28 April 1998 after six months of negotiations between senior Government and UNDP officials. Project implementation underway. (cr:6may99)

Project Website: Website screenshot
Sub-Region: Northern Africa
Ecosystem: Lake
Project Contacts:
  • Mr. Maher Kamel El-Gendy
    Director, Egypt; Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA),
  • Mohamed Bayoumi
    Environment Specialist, Assistant Resident Representative, UNDP Egypt , United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),
  • Mirey Atallah
    Regional Technical Advisor Land Degradation and International Waters, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),
  • Dr. Dia El Din Ahmed El Quosy
    Professor Emeritus at the National Water Research Center, Egypt; National Water Research Centre,
  • Mr. Ahmed Abou Elseoud
    Project Manager, Egypt; Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), Regional Branch Offices Sector
Tranche Funding:

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Project Documents:
Engineered Wetlands (Lake Manzala)
General Information:
Project Type FSP
Project Status Project Completion
Start Date
Nov 30, 1992 12:00 AM
End Date
Jun 29, 2001 12:00 AM
GEF characteristic:
Operational Programme 8
Focal Area International Waters
GEF Allocation to project 6.63M US$
Total Cost of the project: 11.89M US$
Countries: Egypt
Lead Implementing Agency United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Executing Agencies