Scores of families on el-Galaa Street in Menufiya’s Shebeen el-Koum district are leaving their battered makeshift shelters which have been home to them for tens of years, preferring to move to tin-built houses instead.
Zeinab Hussein el-Sharqawy, a resident of el-Galaa Street, confirmed very bad conditions, with families cramped in individual huts, the boys of the neighbourhood liable to become involved in crime and the girls vulnerable to molestation. "All my efforts to get an apartment were in vain, because favoritism is so prevalent in this area. The governorate also demands that we pay LE5000 in advance, plus monthly installments, which we can not afford," she added.
Zeinab Tawfiq, another tenant, was in tears while telling her story: "They gave me this house 25 years ago after my original house fell down, but this one is also near collapse. Nobody cares where I am going to live if this one falls down too".
Residents of the shelters demanded that Governor Samy Omara visit the area himself to see the predicament of approximately 100 families who are surrounded by sewage water and piles of garbage.
Ali Mohamed Ali, head of Shebeen el-Koum’s local council, admitted the poor state of the shelters, but noted that two apartment buildings are being constructed in the West Shebeen el-Koum neighborhood and are expected to be finished within six months. He rejected the idea of setting up tents to shelter the inhabitants, saying that they must wait until the building process is finished. He stressed that procedures for allocating housing will not be commenced until a study is carried out and a list of citizens is compiled with the help of police and utilities authorities, but he added that the terms of obtaining housing will be affordable.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.