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Incinerator Construction and Landfill Closures in Qalyubia, Egypt


Description:

In January 2019, Alaa Abdel Halim, governor of Qalyubia (a northeastern region of Egypt), announced that the governorate is in the process of establishing a three-stage waste recycling plant [1,2]. The plant will have the capacity to hold up to 4,000 tons of garbage per day and is intended to collect garbage, recycle materials, and generate energy (most likely through incineration). The decision was discussed at a meeting attended by officials of the company that will help in establishing the plant, Deputy Governor of Qalyubia Eman Rayyan, Director of the Department of Cleanliness Islam Ragab and Director General of Finance and Administration Adel Sabra [1,2]. The governor also discussed plans with the company to launch a smartphone application through which citizens can send images of locations with garbage for local authorities to remove [1,2].

Not many other details have been released about the plant other than the fact that it is intended to promote a healthier environment and prevent the burning of waste, particularly in the slum districts. While the overall plan seems like a good way to reduce the amount of garbage in the streets, it is unclear as to whether the plant would be diverting recyclables away from local wastepicker communities, who make a living by collecting, and repurposing/selling recyclable materials from residential areas and dumpsites. It seems more than likely that with the initiation of the private company’s recycling/incinerator plant effort, it will seek to maximize profits by privatizing and restricting access to recyclable waste. If this holds true, many of the region’s urban poor, for whom wastepicking is a viable livelihood strategy, will be further marginalized. 

The construction of a waste incineration plant for power generation is not the only project underway in the governorate of Qalyubia. In May 2018, Khaled Fahmy, Minister of the Environment, announced a plan for the decommissioning of the most dangerous garbage dumps in the governorates of Cairo, Qalyubia, Monufiya, Daqaliya, and Gharbia. This will close down landfills and creating newer, more modern ones in remote areas [3]. While there have been no open signs of protest from wastepickers who may be impacted by the incinerator construction project or the anticipated landfill closures and relocations, we’ll be monitoring the consequences of this undertaking closely.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Incinerator Construction and Landfill Closures in Qalyubia, Egypt
Country:Egypt
State or province:Qalyubia
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Waste privatisation conflicts / waste-picker access to waste
Incinerators
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Egypt disposes 80 million tons of garbage annually. The plant will have the capacity to hold up to 4,000 tons of garbage per day.

Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:5.7 million local inhabitants
Start of the conflict:01/01/2019
Relevant government actors:Qalyubia Governor Alaa Abdel Halim, Deputy Governor of Qalyubiaa Eman Rayyan, Director of the Department of Cleanliness Islam Ragab and Director General of Finance and Administration Adel Sabra

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityLATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
Reaction stageUnknown

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Global warming
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Malnutrition, Occupational disease and accidents, Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Land dispossession

Outcome

Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Under negotiation
Application of existing regulations
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The incinerator is planned for construction, as well as the landfill closures and relocations, and little consideration has been made regarding wastepickers in the region.

Sources & Materials

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

(1) Al-Youm, Al-Masry. “Recycling Plant Planned for Qalyubia Governorate.” Egypt Independent, Al-Masry Al-Youm, 2 Jan. 2019, 4:42.
egyptindependent.com/recycling-plant-planned-for-qaliubiya-governorate/

[1] Al-Youm, Al-Masry. “Recycling Plant Planned for Qalyubia Governorate.” Egypt Independent, Al-Masry Al-Youm, 2 Jan. 2019, 4:42.
egyptindependent.com/recycling-plant-planned-for-qaliubiya-governorate/

[2] Egyptian Streets. “Waste Recycling Plant to Be Established in Qalyubiya to Generate Clean Energy.” Egyptian Streets, 3 Jan. 2019.
egyptianstreets.com/2019/01/03/waste-recycling-plant-to-be-established-in-qalubiya-to-generate-clean-energy/

[3] Takouleu, Jean Marie. “EGYPT: Qalyubiya Governorate Intends on Producing Energy with Its Waste.” Afrik 21, Publishing 21, 24 Jan. 2019.
www.afrik21.africa/en/egypt-qalyubiya-governorate-intends-on-producing-energy-with-its-waste/

(2) Egyptian Streets. “Waste Recycling Plant to Be Established in Qalyubiya to Generate Clean Energy.” Egyptian Streets, 3 Jan. 2019.
egyptianstreets.com/2019/01/03/waste-recycling-plant-to-be-established-in-qalubiya-to-generate-clean-energy/

(3) Takouleu, Jean Marie. “EGYPT: Qalyubiya Governorate Intends on Producing Energy with Its Waste.” Afrik 21, Publishing 21, 24 Jan. 2019.
www.afrik21.africa/en/egypt-qalyubiya-governorate-intends-on-producing-energy-with-its-waste/

Meta information

Contributor:Rickie Cleere, University of Bayreuth - ICTA, [email protected]
Last update22/12/2019

Images

 

https://egyptindependent.com/recycling-plant-planned-for-qaliubiya-governorate/

Egyptian government officials discuss plans for the new incinerator/recycling plant.

https://egyptianstreets.com/2019/01/03/waste-recycling-plant-to-be-established-in-qalubiya-to-generate-clean-energy/

A local woman dumps trash into the street of an Egyptian city.