The Shata district on the outskirts of Damietta is experiencing severe pollution from different sources, threatening the health of thousands of its residents.
Residents have complained repeatedly to the authorities, to no avail, they say.
“We are choking from the toxic fumes coming out of the garbage dumped close to residential areas,” said resident Mohamed Hassouna. "The fumes are causing serious respiratory problems among the elderly and the ill."
Sahar Talaat, from the agriculture directorate, said the area suffers from a combination of environmental problems.
These include garbage dump areas that lie close to residential buildings, a fertilizer plant also near by, causing air pollution, and a lack of access to clean drinking water.
“We are constantly suffering from the fact that our roads remain unpaved while sanitation is compromised, so we are attacked by mosquitoes, and rats are everywhere, spreading disease," said resident Sami al-Geaidi.
One resident said the problems would end if only the governor paid them a visit. “I will personally welcome him if he comes: We hear he is active in Damietta and Ras al-Bar, but Shatta also deserves some attention.”
Translated from the Arabic Edition.