Cairo: 30th October 2007

Press release
The Campaign of FDHRD succeeded in positively changing the bad conditions in Shaq El Te'baan in Torah area as Cairo governorate amended the conditions and removed the breaches in Shaq El Te'baan area

The campaign of the Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue (FDHRD) which has started in July 2007 has achieved success. The campaign has started when FDHRD has sent two field missions to the area of Shaq El Te'baan area for three weeks in the period between 9/7/2007 till 25/7/2007 and then FDHRD has issued a report entitled " The republic of Shaq El Te'baan area " which included the outcomes of the two filed mission . This report was issued on 6/8/2007 and it included as well all information on the breaches and violations done in the area and how the owners of factories stole the lands of the state in the area as they extended the factories of Granite and Marble using the State's lands. Also, the report analysed the most important problems that the residents of the area suffer from such as lack of drinking water and therefore they are compelled to drink directly from the water of the Nile without being purified. In addition, the report highlighted the problem of the pollution of food and lack of monitoring on the food shops and restaurants that should have been done by the ministry of health. Besides, it approached the problem of the absent of industrial security safety inside factories of the area which led to the increase number of injured people in addition to the lack of ambulances in the area.

In this regard, FDHRD urged the governorator of Cairo, the minister of commerce and industry and the minister of health to take actions towards such problems. Under this framework, FDHRD has received a formal letter from the office of the minister of commerce and industry on 3 September which states " Reference to your fax dated 5/8/2007 that included an attached report on the outcomes of the field mission documenting the bad conditions of marble and granite workers in Shaq El Ta'baan area in Torah area , we would like to inform you that after studying what mentioned in the report entitled " The republic of Shaq El Te'baan area" by us and the ministry of industrial development , procedural steps have been taken to develop the area of Shaq El Te'baan and the industry of marble and granite as follows:

A committee was formed in order to examine the use of the State’s lands in the area of Mahmeyat Degla in Maadi . This committee included representatives from the competent state bodies in order to give their opinion on moving the industrial area out from Shaq El Te’baan area. The committee has decided to keep the industrial area as it is without having any more extensions and the area has to adapt its conditions in coordination with the Public Body for Industrial Development, the Environment Affairs’ Body and Cairo governorates and any other competence body. In addition, the weaknesses and bad conditions in the industrial area and neighbouring lands shall be re-structures to supplement the current industries in the area in addition to establishing a center for technology and training and a fair for production in order to raise the skills and effectives of the industrial area ….)

It is worth mentioning FDHRD has addressed the ambassador, Moshira Khatab, the Secretary General of the National Council for Motherhood and Childhood on 8/8/2007 and it received a confirmation from the Council that it has received , under reference number 1174. In this letter, FDHRD requested the Council to intervene in protecting the child labours in Shaq El Te'baan area. However, FDHRD did not receive any answer from the Council

The governorator of Cairo issued number of decrees aimed at taking actions on the stealing of the State's properties in Shaq El Te'baan area and amending the bad conditions in the area.

The actions taken by the governorator of Cairo comes as a response to the recommendations of FDHRD . In this regard, FDHRD thanks Dr. Abdel Al Azeem, the governorator of Cairo for his quick response to amend the bad conditions in the area . This step can be considered as a start for the joint cooperation between FDHRD and the executive bodies in order to re-structure the relationship between the civil society and the government and to affirm that the civil society is a basic partner in the developmental process. In this context, FDHRD is recalling the minister of health to intervene in amending the health conditions in the area.

We would like to thank as well engineer Rashid Mohamed Rashid, the minister of commerce and industry on the efforts of the ministry in studying and reviewing the recommendations mentioned in the report which is entitled "" The republic of Shaq El Te'baan area ".

Finally, we urge again Dr. Hatem El Beltagi, the minister of health, to take actions on finishing the establishing First Aid Unit in the area of Shaq El Te'baan and providing it with necessary equipments and qualified doctors to be able to work under pressure and in emergencies.

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