Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri on Sunday instructed the governors of Cairo, Giza and Qalyubiya to implement a new strategy for removing garbage and waste from the streets, and to build youth centers and public parks in areas that have been cleaned.
Municipalities will now hand out fines to people who throw garbage in the streets. Also, Egyptian companies, instead of foreign ones, will collect the garbage.
During a meeting with Minister of Local Development Mohamed Attiya and the three governors, Ganzouri instructed them to launch a one-week campaign to clean main streets of garbage, a chronic problem in Egypt.
According to official figures, Greater Cairo, with its 17 million inhabitants, produces an average of 15,000 tons of solid waste per day.
The World Bank reported in 2005 that 88 percent of collected waste is disposed in open dumps in urban areas, or left in the streets. Government attempts to solve the problem have failed.
“We have contracted 16 specialized companies to do the job in collaboration with civil society organizations,” said Attiya.
Environment Minister Mostafa Hussein said the ministry will begin transmitting mobile phone text messages to educate citizens on how to protect the environment.