The green belt

This is a tale stranger than fiction. 
When a country builds a new city it surrounds it with a green belt, meaning agricultural land with a lot of greenery to repel dust, purify the air with oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide. 
This happens all over the world. But let us see how Egypt, the land of wonders, managed that green belt in the 6th of October City, killing many birds with one stone. 
The Housing Ministry is the body that chooses the area for the green belt. Of course, it is a place with no irrigation sources. So as an alternative, we use treated sewage instead of wasting it in the Nile. And even when the sewage is too much for a station to treat, we use it as it is. This is the first bird.
Then comes the Ministry of Environment and takes funds from the United Nations UNEP Fund that supports green belts. This is the second bird.
Then the belt is assigned to two companies to plant. The first would of course be affiliated with a sovereign body and would give half of the land to the senior officials working in it. And the second would sell the other half to as many as 1,800 Egyptian and Arab investors. In both cases the housing minister makes profits (the third bird). There is a case to this effect currently being considered by the courts.
As to the officials of the sovereign body, they too will benefit. For after a short while, the land becomes the responsibility of another body whose work is urban development. And so the land suddenly becomes real estate and not agricultural, and its price soars high (the fourth bird).
Then we start hearing of projects like Porto October being built on the land that was originally allocated for a green belt. Of course, the price of a flat there is LE10,000 per square meter (the fifth bird).
Outside that belt are the poor who irrigate their land with sewage. But this brings flies and insects and pollutes the air. And so the government withdraws the land from them and sells it as real estate.
The poor start to complain that they are not squatters because they really bought the land 20 years ago, but no one listens to them. Had they been some Arab investor, you would have seen the prime minister himself paying him a visit to solve his problem.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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