Improving sanitary drainage and treatment was
ranked in the Sohag Governorate Environmental Action Plan as one of the
top priority issues to be addressed. In response to a request by the community
of Naga El-Deir village, SEAM supported the establishment of an appropriate
sanitation system for part of the village.
Naga El Deir village has a population of 4,000
and is located on the East Bank of the Nile, within Dar El-Salam Markaz.
The village is bounded to the east by the limestone plateau and to the
west by the Naga Hammadi Canal. The SEAM project focused on a discrete
northern part of the village that is occupied by around 85 low-income households.
Around 90% of the villagers have clean potable
water, which is piped from the Awlad El Sheik Water Treatment Plant, 4km
away. Consumption rates are thought to be in the order of 20-30 litres
per capita per day.
Close to 70% of the villagers lack suitable sanitation
facilities. Of the remaining 30% the most common form of toilets was cesspits
or barrels dug in the ground; less than 2% have soakaway septic tanks.
Such systems can pose a contamination risk to groundwater.
The lack of sewerage facilities in Naga El-Deir
village has led to a number of public health, environmental and social
problems. 92% of villagers had expressed dissatisfaction with the lack
of a proper sanitation system. Incidence of sanitary related health problems
and diseases was also high.
Sanitary drainage schemes yield considerable external
benefits by reducing the incidence of health problems and diseases, and
hence decreasing the financial costs to local health services. Prior to
SEAM, there was little awareness of the environmental impacts and hazards
to human health posed by poor sanitation and drainage.
Prior to committing to the project, meetings were
held with a number of the villagers. All stated that improved sanitation
was badly needed and were willing to contribute to project costs, mostly
in the form of labour and construction materials. The Sohag Governorate,
Dar El-Salam Markaz and the local administration unit were all fully supportive
of the project. Governorate units and the community raised 15% of the costs;
community contributions were on an equitable basis with the poor paying
Prior to implementation, seven women from the
Community Association for Women’s Development in Dar El-Salam conducted
a social survey in Naga El-Deir village. They interviewed 200 people, 65%
of whom were women. The purpose of the survey was to:
Obtain a better overview of the present sanitary
situation of the village.
Establish base line conditions and identify indicators
that could be monitored to determine the impact of the project.
Determine the needs for hygiene education and awareness
Assess willingness of villagers to pay to sustain
the sanitation service.