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News Egypt: Poor drainage systems put villagers' health at risk

Northern villages have been flooded, and houses submerged, due to poor drainage as well as rising ground-water level this month, locals said. Shoubrabkhoum, a village in Menufiyya, for example, saw a rise in ground-water levels of 500cm caused by poor sanitary drainage. Drilling of the sanitary drainage station in the village has been taking place for three years but it will be at least another five years before it operates at full force, according to Gehane Khalifa, a resident.

Sanitary drainage is a sign of persistent poverty in rural Egypt. Despite policy changes by the government, including the decentralisation of essential services, peoples' lives are still at risk, with diseases spreading because of poor sanitation.

Villagers protested on 4 September against the failing drainage coverage. The first completed phase of the three-year-old drilling operations did not service any of the houses in the village but rather those belonging to relatives and friends of te local council officials in the outskirts of the village. Instead, the villagers have tried to remove the accumulating water with special water removal trucks that costs 25EGP (US$4.50) per transfer, said a local.

The Nile Delta has generally been reported to have the highest prevalence of Hepatitis C, with 28 percent concentration of the disease as opposed to 9 percent in Cairo, according to the John Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawai'i.

Poor sanitary drainage also led to severe floods in mid-September in another village in northern Egypt, Gharbiyya, where several houses were submerged in feculent water.

Contact information Irin News - © IRIN 2008.
News type Inbrief
File link http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=80456
Source of information Irin News - © IRIN 2008.
Keyword(s) drainage, groundwater
Subject(s) DRINKING WATER , DRINKING WATER AND SANITATION : COMMON PROCESSES OF PURIFICATION AND TREATMENT , HEALTH - HYGIENE - PATHOGENIC MICROORGANISM , SANITATION -STRICT PURIFICATION PROCESSES , WATER QUALITY
Relation http://www.emwis.org/countries/fol749974/country769281
Geographical coverage Egypt
News date 18/09/2008
Working language(s) ENGLISH
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