International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Lake Manzala Engineered Wetland Project

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)


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Documents & Resources
General information
GEF ID 395
Project type Full-Size Project
Status closed (Project Closure)
Start Date 19 Jun 1997
End Date 31 Jul 2007
GEF characteristic:
Focal Area International Waters
GEF Allocation to project USD 4,500,000
Total Cost of the project: USD 11,130,000
YES - See results data (395)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Project contacts
Dia El Din Ahmed El Quosy Professor Emeritus at the National Water Research Center
Mohamed Bayoumi Environment Specialist
Ahmed Abou Elseoud Project Manager
Mirey Atallah Regional Technical Advisor Land Degradation and International Waters