The Ezbet El-Nasr Youth Network worked closely with the District authority to design and produce traffic signs to mark their community with the name the community identifies itself with. In a community ceremony, the traffic signs were inaugurated as a first step in a new future, marking the area as “Ezbet El-Nasr”. To outsiders the area was previously known only by the Jewish cemetery bordering it. The aim of the youth initiative was to give a stronger identity to the community living in the area. The ceremony was attended by Dr. Nemaat Saty, Head of Centeral Department for Parliament and Civic Education, Ministry of Youth and Dr. Azza al Doury from the same department, Basateen District Chief Tarek Al Yemini, and Hesham El Zeftawi and Sundus Balata from the Egyptian-German Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP). Regina Kipper, Coordinator of the measure “Promotion of Youth Participation in Informal Areas in Greater Cairo” at PDP said: “The establishment of these signs is not only a great way to demonstrate community identity, but also a great initiative from the youth network of Ezbet El-Nasr.” Four youth networks – including the network of Ezbet El-Nasr – were established in 2011 as part of the Youth Fast Track Measure which is financed by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ). The measure aims at empowering young Egyptians between the ages of 18 to 35, enabling them to participate effectively in planning and decision-making processes in their local communities. The youth networks were established in four informal 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). The aim of the networks is to give young Egyptians the chance to play a stronger role in their communities and enable them to engage in a constructive dialogue with the local authorities. Through dialogue platforms, the young people are currently designing and planning development initiatives together with the local authorities to benefit their local communities. Ezbet El-Nasr is an informal settlement on desert and state-owned land, with over 72.000 inhabitants. It is formally attributed to the southern districts of Cairo and the Al-Basateen district. It is bound by the Ring Road to the South, the Autostrad to the East and a slaughterhouse to the North. A historic Jewish cemetery is embedded into its western parts. The history of the area’s construction goes back more than 40 years and is strongly linked to an influx of rural migrants from Fayoum, Beni Sweif, Menia, Asyout, Sohag and Qena. Ezbet El-Nasr is in many ways physically and socially segregated from the rest of the city. Although many basic services can be found in the area, the quality and maintenance of these are often unsatisfactory. The PDP is an Egyptian-German development programme, working to upgrade informal settlements in Greater Cairo – such as Ezbet El-Nasr – in ways that involve the residents of those areas. The overall aim is to enhance their living conditions and alleviate urban poverty through improving local services and environmental conditions. 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 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.
For more information on the Youth Fast Track Measure “Promotion of Youth Participation in Informal Areas in Greater Cairo”, please download the fact sheet available in English.