Last update:
2017-07-06

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
Name of conflict:Wadi Al Qamar residents and Alexandria portland cement, Egypt
Country:Egypt
State or province:Alexandria
Location of conflict:Al- makks
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Coal extraction and processing
Other industries
Specific commodities:Cement
Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Wadi 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:600,000,000
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:50,000-60,000
Start of the conflict:2002
Company names or state enterprises:ΤΙΤΑΝ Cement Egypt from Egypt
TITAN Group from Greece
Relevant government actors:Prime minister, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Industry
International and Finance InstitutionsInternational Finance Corporation (EIB)
The World Bank (WB) from United States of America
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights www.eipr.org
Bank Information Center . http://www.bankinformationcenter.org/
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Community-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
Other Environmental impactsThe 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
Other Health impactsAir pollution affects the health directly especially the respiratory and cardiac functions and indirectly through polluting the food
Socio-economical 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
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (undecided)
Violent targeting of activists
Development of alternatives:Improving 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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain: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 & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Site for related laws and regulations
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

short mobile movie
[click to view]

Business and human rights resource center
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

emmissions from factory
[click to view]

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

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

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
Contributor:Ragia Elgerzawy, Egyptian Initiative for personal rights, [email protected]
Last update06/07/2017
Comments
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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