Aquatic Monitoring for Sustainable Dredging in Northern Lakes of Egypt (MoMa-Monitoring Master)

The project purpose is improved capacity of GAFRD, in collaboration with other relevant organisations, to monitor the water quality of Lake Manzala and to monitor the Lake’s natural resources. The achievement of the Purpose will be revealed as project partners in Egypt having the necessary guidelines, tools and experience to monitor the environmental quality of Lake Manzala.

The project partner

The General Authority for Fish Resources Development (GAFRD) is SYKE’s main partner in this ICI Project. GAFRD is the owner of the four Watermaster dredgers purchased from Finland and the proposed activities support GAFRD in planning and implementing dredging operations in a sustainable manner. GAFRD is responsible for the Northern lakes (“lagoons”), having the permanent mandate also for heavy restoration methods such as dredging. GAFRD has extensive experience in dredging, but it has used traditional excavators in the reed areas. The new suction dredging methodology used by Watermaster provides means also for dredging in the areas where the surface sediment is contaminated.

Watermaster dredger in operation at Lake Manzalla. © Photo: Karri Eloheimo

The project area

The Nile Delta estuarine with its wetlands, lakes and lagoons forms a transitional water purification and protective zone before the Mediterranean Sea. This zone is a productive agricultural and aquacultural area, as well as an important sink of nutrients, heavy metals and agro-chemicals.

High population growth and population pressure on the scarce inhabitable land of Egypt with increasing agriculture and industrialisation have resulted in pollution of drains and subsequently the lagoons. The fishery of natural fish stocks has collapsed with hard felt economic and socio-economic drawbacks for the fishery dependent population in the area and particularly the poorest segment of the population.

Lake Manzala is the largest of the lakes and produces the most fish. The size of the lake is about 52 611 hectares. The Lake is shallow with half of the lake being only 0,5-1,00m deep. There are three outlets between Lake Manzala and the Mediterranean sea.

Expected results and activities

The Overall Objective of the project is improved environmental status of Lake Manzala. This would result in a significant increase in sustainable fish production thus supporting the livelihood of the local population. Lake Manzala has been chosen as a pilot lake among the Northern Lakes of Egypt. In the even longer term, all Northern Lakes of Egypt will have an improved environmental status.


The project has three results areas:

1. Dredging operations planned according to standards and environmentally friendly practices

2. Water circulation, temperature, salinity and suspended solids 3D model applied and, based on it, guidelines for sustainable dredging prepared

3. Plan for Lake Manzala joint operational monitoring and data management system and recommendations for its implementation prepared

All of the three results areas contain numerous activities and most are carried out through hands-on training. This training will be arranged by SYKE experts in Egypt and during study tours of the Egyptian partners to Finland.

Looking for a suitable place for the water level sensor. © Photo: Karri Eloheimo
Published 2017-03-14 at 13:12, updated 2020-10-22 at 13:07