Yearly Archives: 2013

Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs and PDP agree to jointly work on tackling environmental problems in Cairo’s informal areas

The Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs (MSEA) and the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) have agreed to jointly work to address Egypt’s environmental challenges in informal urban areas.


On Monday 13 May 2013, the Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs and the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) signed a cooperation agreement. The new partnership will address some of the most pressing environmental challenges facing the country, namely solid waste management and climate change.

The PDP is an Egyptian-German development programme, working to upgrade informal settlements in Greater Cairo Region, in ways that involve the residents of those areas. The overall aim is to enhance the living conditions of the citizens and alleviate urban poverty through improving local services and environmental conditions.

In this context the PDP focuses on establishing an integrated community-based solid waste management system in two selected areas in Khanka and Khosoos cities in Qalyubeya Governorate. In addition to this, the programme works on increasing informal area populations’ ability to cope with the effects of climate change, focusing on four areas in Greater Cairo (Masaken Geziret El-Dahab and Markaz El-Abhath / Warraq in Giza Governorate, and Ain Shams and Ezbet El-Nasr in Cairo Governorate).

PDP Programme Coordinator Dr. Günther Wehenpohl said: “Our overall goal is to improve living conditions in selected informal areas. This can only be done by also addressing the environmental problems of these areas and in partnership with the Egyptian side.”

The MSEA together with the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) will ensure the activities are in line with national strategies, link with relevant national partners and support awareness raising campaigns on environmental issues.

Approximately 60% of people in Greater Cairo live in unplanned, densely populated areas that lack basic services and social infrastructure, and are suffering from environmental pollution.

The focus of the cooperation agreement is in accordance with the national priorities of the government of Egypt and the latest negotiations between the governments of Egypt and Germany.

First project targeting Climate Change Adaptation in Egypt’s urban areas started

Recent weeks have witnessed the start of a new stage for the Climate Change Adaptation Component of the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) – Egypt’s first intervention to focus specifically on the effects of climate change on urban areas.

Plan+Risk Consult from Dortmund visited Cairo to kick off their study on the effects of climate change on informal areas in Greater Cairo. The trip involved visits to the PDP’s target areas Greater Cairo as well as first interviews with key stakeholders. Interviews with local residents as well as relevant authorities will take place over the coming weeks.

Despite the fact that there has not yet been any comprehensive assessment which addresses the impact of climate change on Cairo’s informal areas in particular, it is certain that inhabitants will be affected by the consequences of climate change, e.g. in the areas of food security, health, etc.

To address these challenges, the PDP has since 2011 incorporated the new component Climate Change Adaption and Urban Resilience in its portfolio. Its objective is to promote resilient communities and their efforts to adapt to the changing climate conditions. This will be achieved through, e.g. development of a participatory and community-based adaptation strategy for informal areas by collaborating with relevant authorities, such as the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) and the General Organization of Physical Planning (GOPP), local residents and civil society to identify strategies and measures to cope with on-going climate challenges.

Ecocem (Lafarge) and GIZ agree to pilot new waste management solutions for Egypt

Ecocem (Lafarge) and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) have agreed to jointly work to pilot new solutions addressing both Egypt’s waste management problems and the emerging energy crisis.


On Thursday 28 March 2013, Ecocem – a subsidiary company of Lafarge Group – and GIZ in partnership with Qalyubeya Governorate signed a cooperation agreement. This partnership will address some of the waste management problems in Qalyubeya Governorate while at the same time finding alternative solutions to the growing energy crisis facing industries in Egypt while creating a new value chain for the local communities.

Under the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) concept, private sector companies and public sector development cooperation work hand in hand, achieving a win-win-situation and creating new possibilities for positive development impulses.

GIZ Programme Coordinator Dr. Günther Wehenpohl said: “This cooperation is a great example of public and private organisations joining efforts to work together on finding solutions to Egypt’s environmental problems, while at the same time enhancing economic opportunities for poor urban populations.”

This cooperation agreement builds on the existing partnership between GIZ and Qalyubeya to rehabilitate an old recycling facility. Within this context a new processing line to produce Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) from waste materials – which can be used as an alternative source of fuel in cement factories – will be built. This facility will create more than 50 job opportunities while also benefiting informal waste collectors and recyclers who will work on separating recyclable material such as plastics and metals.

Lafarge is the world largest producer of building materials and is a market leader in Egypt. Lafarge Cement Egypt has been the pioneer in providing effective and environmentally reliable thermal treatment solution in Egypt with a great success and proven track record. Ecocem Industrial Ecology Egypt is Lafarge’s Industrial Ecology unit in Egypt responsible for developing, sourcing and pre-treating solutions to facilitate the recovery of wastes to alternative fuels materials by Lafarge Cement plant that co-processes them with full compliance with international environmental standards and sustains its undisputed high quality cement products. Ecocem will source the RDF produced at the facility while also providing technical support for the operation of the RDF processing line. Part of the revenues generated from the sale of RDF will be reinvested by Qalyubeya Governorate to enhance the waste collection and transportation systems in the cities of Khosoos and Khanka.

GIZ is supporting Qalyubeya Governorate since 2010 through the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) to develop integrated community-based waste management systems in two cities, Khosoos and Khanka, within the governorate.

This agreement also entails the cooperation between Ecocem-Lafarge and GIZ in conducting research about the utilization of RDF, initiating stakeholder consultations as well as dissemination of technical knowledge. This will primarily be done in cooperation with the National Solid Waste Management Programme (NSWMP). The NSWMP, which is also supported by the German government, aims to support the Egyptian government in developing the necessary institutional, legal and organizational structures for waste management at the national level as well as in four other governorates. In the opinion of Joachim Stretz, GIZ Programme Coordinator of the NSWMP, “This joint approach can deliver necessary experience and knowledge to tackle the next steps in developing an improved and sustainable waste management system suitable for Egypt”.

GIZ is a government-owned enterprise which supports the German government in achieving its objectives in field of international development cooperation.


Development Plan for informal urban areas agreed

A major development plan for informal urban areas in Greater Cairo Region was agreed on 20 March 2013, bringing together Egypt’s main actors in the urban development field.

The meeting at the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MoPIC) on Wednesday 20 March marked the beginning of the next stage of a large-scale EU-funded development programme to improve living and environmental conditions in informal areas in Giza and Cairo Governorates.

Representatives from the MoPIC, Giza and Cairo Governorates, the European Union, German Development Cooperation (GIZ), as well as the Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Insurance & Social Affairs, Ministry of Youth, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Education, the General Organization for Physical Planning and the Informal Settlements Development Facility were invited to discuss the way forward for developing four informal areas in Giza and Cairo.

The purpose of the meeting was to gather all development partners crucial to the success of the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) and to create a steering committee. The committee will meet regularly to supervise the progress of the programme.

Dr Ashraf El-Araby, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, said: “This is an excellent example of ministries working together on the development of informal areas. I am very optimistic that the participatory aspect of this programme will help to address the most urgent community needs, and provide a model to be replicated in informal areas all over Egypt.”

Currently the PDP is carrying out a participatory needs assessment in four target areas in Giza and Cairo, involving street interviews and public meetings with local residents to hear their views and determine the most urgent needs of each area. Possible upgrading projects could include improving youth centres and health facilities, upgrading roads or street lighting, developing skills for unemployed residents and improving waste management.

The PDP is an Egyptian-German cooperation programme aiming to enhance the living conditions for the poor urban population – and in particular youth and women – of Greater Cairo. It is co-funded by the European Union with € 20 million. The goal is to improve environmental conditions as well as services provided by public administration and civil society organisations for 1.9 million residents in the target areas.

PDP Coordinator Dr Günther Wehenpohl said: “Improving living conditions in these informal areas presents a great challenge but also a great opportunity for all partners involved. Our goal is to achieve tangible and concrete improvements to the livelihoods of the residents of those areas.”

Key partners are the MoPIC, the Governorates of Cairo and Giza, as well as GIZ which supports implementation. Local stakeholders, public administration, civil society, and the private sector, will be included in the process. The four target areas – Ezbet el-Nasr and Ain Shams in Cairo Governorate, and Masaken Geziret El-Dahab/ Saqqiet Mekky and Markaz El-Abhath/Warraq in Giza Governorate – were selected by each governorate.

Approximately 60% of the people in the Greater Cairo Region live in unplanned, densely populated areas that lack basic services and social infrastructure, and are suffering from environmental pollution.

200 participate in first Egypt Urban Futures workshop

200 representatives of government, civil society, academia and international donors took part in the first Egypt Urban Futures workshop, a new workshop series, organised by the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP), together with UN-Habitat and the Centre d’Études et de Documentation Économiques (CEDEJ).

Egypt Urban Futures

The first session on the topic of “Informal Areas after 25 January 2011” took place on 11 March 2013 at the French Institute in Cairo. The workshop examined the changes in informal neighbourhoods since the outset of the revolution and aiming to define new strategies of territorial action and aid to development.

The Egypt Urban Futures series has been initiated to build a platform to exchange approaches, experiences, best practices and opinions concerning urban development for all stakeholders engaged in the field.

The first session received very positive feedback from participants, and revealed consensus on the need for stronger cooperation in the field of urban development in Egypt.

The next workshop will take place in August 2013.

Recycling centre to be built in Khanka, Qalyubeya Governorate

The Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) has been allocated 8 fedans of land in the area of Khanka (Qalyubeya Governorate) to build an Integrated Resource Recovery Centre (IRRC) for the area.

Woman segregating waste in Qalyubeya Governorate

The land was awarded to the programme through an official decree by the Prime Minister of Egypt. The allocation of land comes in the context of the solid waste management component of the PDP which aims to develop an integrated community based solid waste management system in two cities in Qalyuebya Governorate.

The centre which will serve the cities of Khanka and Khosoos will be dedicated to the recovery of valuable material, composting of organic waste and producing Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) from waste to be used as alternative fuel in cement kilns in Egypt. It is expected that the IRRC will be up and running in the second half of 2013.

PDP signs cooperation agreements with Ministry of State for Youth and Cairo Governorate

Two cooperation agreements were signed by the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) with the Egyptian Ministry of State for Youth (MoY) and Cairo Governorate in early January 2013.

PDP Programme Coordinator Günther Wehenpohl with Cairo Governor Osama Kamal

The agreement with the MoY which was signed by the Minister of State for Youth Dr. Osama Yassin and PDP Programme Coordinator Dr. Günther Wehenpohl sets the framework for the MoY and the PDP joining efforts to empower young Egyptians between the ages of 18 to 35 and enable them to participate effectively in planning and decision-making processes in their local communities.

To achieve this goal, the Fast Track Measure “Promotion of Youth Participation in Informal Areas in Greater Cairo” which is implemented by the PDP, is establishing youth networks in four informal areas: two in Governorates of Cairo and Giza. These networks will empower young Egyptians to increase their role in their communities and enable them to engage in a constructive dialogue with the local authorities. Through dialogue platforms, the young people will design and plan development initiatives together with the local authorities and various community groups.

“The work of the programme is much needed to support Egypt’s youth in the aftermath of the revolution in playing a greater role in the politics of the country. This is especially important since Egypt is demographically such a young society,” Dr. Yassin said.

On 6 January, the PDP also signed a cooperation agreement with Cairo Governorate in a ceremony at the Governorate building in Abdeen to work together in upgrading two informal areas in Cairo Governorate: Ain Shams and Ezbet El-Nasr. The signing marks the start of a new phase of cooperation between PDP and the Governorate. The Governor Dr. Eng. Osama Kamal emphasised that it comes in the wake of a previous successful cooperation in Manshiet Nasr between 2004 and 2010.

Signing ceremony with the Ministry of Youth

Signing ceremony with the Ministry of Youth

PDP Team Members with Ministry of Youth officials

Journalists at the ministry