Duweiqa residents protest to voice housing demands

Scores of residents in housing units in Duweiqa protested outside the Cairo Governorate headquarters Sunday, demanding the title deeds for the units they had moved to after a devastating rockslide in 2008.

They also demanded that authorities drop the amount of late monthly rent they have not paid, which amounts to LE3,000.

Protesters say authorities promised to respond to their demands in two weeks, but did not meet their promise.

The residents moved to the units — which were named after former first lady Suzanne Mubarak — on a usufruct basis, meaning they cannot rent or bequeath them. They now demand full ownership, as was granted to residents who were provided housing in previous stages of the government project to relocate them.

The ramshackle buildings of Duweiqa lie at the bottom of a cliff, from which huge boulders fell in 2008 and crushed more than 100 people. The deputy governor of Cairo was convicted of negligence, but in September, a court overturned that ruling.

In 2009, Amnesty International accused the government of failing to take effective steps to protect Duweiqa residents.

Some Cairo districts have a density of 100,000 people per square mile, with residents packed into neighborhoods without basic services.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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