Lawyers sue Nile polluters

A number of lawyers have joined forces with Al-Masry Al-Youm in its campaign against the pollution of Nile waters caused by industrial waste and chemical materials at the city of Hawamdiya. The lawyers announced that they will sue Hassan Kamel, head of the Hawamdiya Sugar Company, and will gather proxies from citizens who complain of impure water.

Al-Masry Al-Youm published an investigative report about the problem faced by the region in the wake of laboratory analyses conducted at Cairo University, which showed that the water contains levels of toxins that exceed Egyptian and international standards.

Mahmoud Sayyid Ahmed, a lawyer and a citizen of Hawamdiya, said: "We live here and have long been suffering from polluted water, but we did not posses any evidence against the sugar company. As soon as the laboratory analyses made by the newspaper provided proof, we started a campaign to obtain signatures by local citizens to sue the company, and will not retreat until it ceases discharging its poisons in the Nile."

Ahmed Abdel Tawwab Mahmoud, another lawyer and Hawamdiya resident, said: "We will not rest until the people responsible for this pay the price for their negligence and heedlessness toward the lives of the inhabitants. We will call upon the Ministry of Environment to present any available analysis that proves the hideous breaches committed by the company."

Meanwhile, Sawsan Ali Soliman, who does not live in Hawamdiya but says she is solidarity with its citizens, went yesterday morning to the office of the public prosecutor to file a report (number 20393) against the ministers of environment, agriculture, irrigation, and the company’s manager. She accused them all of failure and negligence.

Soliman says that she decided to file the complain because she was upset by seeing people with kidney failure due to pollution, while the government remains uninvolved.

"I am an Egyptian citizen and am really sad for what the government does to its citizens," Soliman said. "I hope the officials drink and eat from the same food and water we do, so that they feel our suffering."

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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