Last Update 15:50
Wednesday, 19 February 2020
VIDEO: Activists occupy Giza governorate HQ over water shortages

Ahram Online film inside the Giza governorate building where activists have begun an occupation after long standing complaints over water shortages in the town of Saft el Laban

Members of the people's committee of Saft el Laban occupy the Giza governorate building on Wednesday, vowing to stay in the building and its grounds until their town has water.

Saft el Laban - located in Giza - has a long standing issue with its water supply, but residents have complained that in recent weeks there has been no water at all reaching their homes amidst Egypt's oppressive summer heat. Previously they say they were only getting one or two hours of water each evening. 

The people's committee have had numerous meetings with, and promises from, local government authorities and the water company, but they still have no water, prompting this escalation. "We're holding a sit-in because we've done a lot of talking here at the governorate and at the water company, now we're staying until we get water." said Tamer Wagdy Mahmoud, an accountant and a member of the Saft el Laban people's committee.

The activists have closed all entrances to the governorate building's grounds with locks and chains, forbidding anyone to enter or leave until their demand is met. Government employees are still in the building, although female employees were allowed to leave.

Saft el Laban residents complain that wealthier neighbouring towns have a constant supply of water, while they are forced to go to collect water from pipes and wells outside of their locale.

"How come Saft el Gedida has water 24 hours a day? How come Dokki, Zamalek, Mohandiseen and Agouza have water 24 hours a day? Why is this? Why this injustice?" asked Mahmoud.

The people's committee say they will not accept any more promises of a future solution to the crisis - they will leave only when their families in Saft el Laban tell them water is coming out of their taps.


Report and video by Simon Hana

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