By Mohamed El-Atroush
The Chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FECC), Ahmed El-Wakeel, revealed that the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce obtained financing for the first stage of a project to remove trash and to beautify the city. The European Union (EU) is providing the financing for the project, which will cost EGP 40 million.
El-Wakeel stated during an iftar hosted by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce this week that the project will take place over 32 months and will begin in September. It is planned to be executed over three stages; the first of which will be a radio, television, and newspaper media campaign. The second stage will include a religious campaign with the participation of the Coptic Church and Al-Azhar. The third stage is a campaign to raise awareness among school students.
El-Wakeel said that the initiative will include a number of experimental projects. One such project will install “reverse vending machines” for the first time in the Middle East at a number of schools and universities. The machines will accept empty beverage containers for recycling and return money and discounts to users.
The FECC had previously launched an initiative to clean and beautify Cairo in co-operation with more than four million merchants.
El-Wakeel explained that the initiative rests on a number of strategies, the first of which is to encourage business owners to clean the sidewalks in front of their stores and workshops and to train their employees in environment awareness in order to maintain higher standards of cleanliness.
He noted that the second strategy urges co-ordination between members of the chambers of commerce and local authorities to provide modern waste containers in specified areas. The third strategy includes raising awareness among grade school and university students in order to raise a new generation conscious of its role in maintaining the cleanliness of its surroundings.
The FECC will work to obtain grants from all possible sources to finance public sanitation projects in all the governorates. The projects will be designed to deal with the specific waste disposal needs of all regions, relying on modern economic solutions for recycling, using waste for energy, and environmentally sound waste removal and burial.
The FECC will also prepare studies assessing the feasibility of small projects in the field of public sanitation. The projects would focus on sustainable economic development, providing job opportunities, connecting citizens to waste management services, and co-ordinating with sources of financing.