Wadi Al Qamar residents and Alexandria portland cement, Egypt

Residents of Wadi Al-Qamar area in Alexandria suffer from environmental pollution, and deterioration of health because of Alexandria Portland cement factory located next to their homes


Description

Residents of Wadi Al-Qamar area in Alexandria suffer from environmental pollution, and deterioration of health because of Alexandria Portland cement factory located next to their homes.  The residents say that the majority of the population in the area belongs to tribes that have settled in this part for long periods, namely Awlad Ali and Juhayna tribes, with a population of about 60,000 citizens. Elderly people lived in the area when it was a place for recreation and healing. They remember that the area was famous for the reflection of lunar rays on the vast barley plantations, which is the reason behind its name. The area has changed over the years, due to its proximity to the port of Alexandria. Factories invaded it, and the main roads penetrated it through which trucks loaded with goods and raw materials pass. However, despite the presence of a number of industries in the region, the location of the cement factory north of the residential area under the blowing wind and being the only factory in the region which emits dust makes it the most dangerous on the residents.

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Basic Data
NameWadi Al Qamar residents and Alexandria portland cement, Egypt
CountryEgypt
ProvinceAlexandria
SiteAl- makks
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Other industries
Coal extraction and processing
Specific CommoditiesCement
Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsWadi Al-Qamar area is located west of Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast. The cement plant is located north of the residential area, separating it from the sea. The southern fence of the factory is only about 10 meters from the residential area (the width of the street separating them).
Level of Investment (in USD)600,000,000
Type of PopulationUrban
Potential Affected Population50,000-60,000
Start Date2002
Company Names or State EnterprisesΤΙΤΑΝ Cement Egypt from Egypt
TITAN Group from Greece
Relevant government actorsPrime minister, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Industry
International and Financial InstitutionsInternational Finance Corporation (EIB)
The World Bank (WB) from United States of America
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersEgyptian Initiative for Personal Rights www.eipr.org

Bank Information Center . http://www.bankinformationcenter.org/
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingLocal government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationCommunity-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Fires, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Soil contamination
OtherThe continuous shaking from the machines led to cracking of some of the walls and balconies especially of old houses near the factory,
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Occupational disease and accidents, Other environmental related diseases
Potential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Deaths, Other Health impacts
OtherAir pollution affects the health directly especially the respiratory and cardiac functions and indirectly through polluting the food
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (undecided)
Violent targeting of activists
Development of AlternativesImproving the performance of the factory

Moving the factory away from residential area

Moving residents to another suitable area and fair compensation on their properties
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The Company is very powerful and connected, the policies favors Businesses over environment.On the other hand the resistance is weakened by harsh security restrictions, by attacks on civil society and the general poverty and despair of the community. Yet, although no big victories happened, the factory took actions to slowly decrease pollution. Cases are in Court. CAO report is pending, social media and advocacy are going on.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Site for related laws and regulations
[click to view]

References

short mobile movie
[click to view]

Business and human rights resource center
[click to view]

Links

emmissions from factory
[click to view]

Report from Al masry Alyoum news agency
[click to view]

Media Links

Wadi al Qamar case on the CAO site
[click to view]

Other Documents

Breathing cement for the sake of big investments: Huge emissions from Titan cement factory located in Wadi al-Qamar residential area
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorRagia Elgerzawy, Egyptian Initiative for personal rights, ragia@eipr.org
Last update06/07/2017
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