Community Environmental Projects
Sanitary Drainage and Treatment,
Naga El-Karakra Village, Sohag 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-Karakra village, SEAM supported the establishment of an appropriate low-cost sanitation system for the village.
Naga El-Karakra village is located 9 km west of Sohag City. It is administered by Awlad Azaz ‘mother’ village within the Sohag Markaz. The village is bounded on the east by farmland and to the west by desert leading to the limestone plateau 300 m away. Population is around 2,000 people, mostly on low incomes.
Around 83% of the villagers have piped water connections. A further 15% take water from their neighbours or from a public stand post. Clean potable water is supplied from the Al Kaisan Water Treatment Plant.
Close to 70% of the villagers had a toilet, the most common type being a cesspit. Residents frequently complained that the cesspits were malodorous, attracted flies and at times overflowed with rising groundwater levels. In addition such systems can pose a contamination risk to groundwater.
The lack of adequate sewerage facilities in Naga El-Karakra village have led to a number of public health, environmental and social problems. 67% of villagers had expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of a proper sanitation system and there was a common occurrence of sanitary related health problems and diseases.
Sanitary drainage schemes yield considerable external benefits by reducing the incidence of health problems and diseases, and hence decreasing the financial costs to the local health service. Prior to SEAM, there was little awareness of health risks posed by poor sanitation and drainage.
Meetings were held with the community, Sohag Governorate, Sohag Markaz and the local administration unit. All were fully supportive of the project and actively participated throughout the implementation. Financial contributions to the system from local sources reached 15%. In addition considerable time and labour were provided on project engineering and awareness campaigns.
Prior to implementation, seven graduates from
the Higher Institute for Social Sciences in Sohag City conducted a social
survey in Naga El-Karakra village. They interviewed 210 people, of whom
77% were women. The purpose of the survey was to: