Sohag Governorate Environmental Action Plan
Community Environmental Projects
Case Study
Sanitary Drainage and Treatment,
Naga El Deir Village, Dar El-Salam Markaz

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 low-cost
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 less.

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 raising.
  • Assess willingness of villagers to pay to sustain the sanitation service.