Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The former regional governor of the Egyptian Nile Delta City of Alexandria, Hany el-Missiry, has rejected accusations that poor civic maintenance of drains was responsible for recent damaging floods, which led to the deaths of at least 6 people. El-Missiry blames Climate Change.
According to Al Jazeera;
… His resignation, which comes less than a year after he took charge of Alexandria, Egypt’s second-largest city, was announced Sunday by a government spokesman amid widespread criticism over the city’s response to the deluge.
“We are drowning in negligence,” read the front-page headline of Al-Youm Al-Sabaa daily newspaper. “The government drowns in Alexandria,” read the banner headline at Al-Shorouk, another daily.
Alexandria’s frail infrastructure, particularly its drainage systems, likely aggravated the flooding and resulted in the deaths of five people who were electrocuted by a fallen power cable, according to local media. The downpour was five times the amount of rain the city normally experiences in all of October.
Some people pointed to climate change as a major culprit. Missiry called the flooding an “environmental catastrophe” shortly before resigning.
Such flooding could become the norm in Alexandria, the World Bank has warned. It put Alexandria among the five cities across the world most at risk of flooding by 2050 as a result of climate change. The other cities the World Bank lists include Barranquilla, Colombia; Naples, Italy; Sapporo, Japan; and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. …
I hope you join me in wishing Hany el-Missiry good luck with his next job. I respectfully suggest, that given the political reflexes demonstrated during the Alexandria flood, Hany is a strong candidate for the job of representing Egypt at the upcoming COP21 Paris climate summit.