Nama villagers living in sewage terror

The residents of Nama village in Qalyoubeyya Governorate have been living in fear since their houses started to collapse from floods of sewage water. The village does not have a drainage network and instead depends on dredging.

Residents confirm that drinking water is contaminated with sewage water. Fifty people are thought to have contracted typhoid fever, although the cases are not widely known about because of an information blackout imposed by some hospitals, who are afraid of being held accountable.

The situation in the village is as grim as the inhabitants describe. More than 150,000 villagers drink water from Ibrahemeyya Canal, which is contaminated with water from septic tanks. Mohamed Shoeib, who lost one of his legs five years ago in an accident, is unable to leave his home as he has to jump over ponds of water throughout the village.

“My house, which cost me a fortune to buy, might collapse because the streets are flooded with sewage water,” says Shoeib.

The sewage problem has not only caused houses to collapse, but has brought about skin and gastric diseases. “My child is losing protein in his urine, which could have caused him renal failure. It’s all because of the contaminated drinking water,” says Mansour Mohamed, a resident of the village, who adds, “Although the hospital provides its services free of charge, I’ve spent LE7000 so far. But thank God we were able to save him just in time.”

Omm Atef, who lives in Haramein Street in Meet Nama, stayed at the Qaloubeyya Fever Hospital for 15 days after she started to suffer health complications from drinking contaminated water. “We live in another Baradaa, but the officials don’t want to talk about what’s happening,” she says. El-Baradaa is a village in Qaloubeyya Governorate which was hit hard by an outbreak of typhoid three months ago after sewage water contaminated water supplies. The village was just one of many throughout different governorates affected recently by contamination of the water network.

Dr. Osama Ahmed el-Beheiry, an internist, says that the increases in the rates of death and in the rates of renal and hepatic diseases are alarming. “More than 70 per cent of the patients who come to my clinic have renal or hepatic failure. The desire of everybody in Nama village is to see the conclusion of the sewage drainage project. The project, which was to deal with the sewage problem, started in 2004 but was then frozen in 2005, and nobody knows why,” he adds.

Nashaat Mahmoud, a lawyer living in the village, recalls: “All of a sudden we found the Sanitary Drainage Authority digging in several streets.” He continues: “Everyone was happy, thinking their problems with the sewage were over. But their happiness was short-lived because the project stopped, although the equipment and tools are still there in the streets.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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