Apr 1, 2013 6:00pm
|Address:||23 Gamel el Din Abou el Mahasen St., Garden City, Cairo, Egypt.
The CEDEJ is pleased to announce a new conference entitled:
"Solid Waste Management as an Urban Government Vehicle in Egypt (2007-2012)"
By Lise Debout, PhD in city planning, researcher and assistant at the City Planning Institute of Lyon / UMR 5600 EVS (France)
10 years after the solid waste management privatization reform in Egypt, our presentation aims to illustrate how waste, in the Mubarak’s authoritarian and centralized regime has been an urban government vehicle.
Firstly, stressing the two characteristics of waste (reject and resource), this communication will illustrate how waste has been a territorial and social indicator of inequality in Egyptian society. Through a terminological and symbolic approach, the presentation will show how public cleanliness and waste have consequently played a central role in urban representations for inhabitants as well as for public authorities.
Secondly, in an institutional approach of local government, we will show that the local management model and the cost-recovery system (based on a user fee) make waste management an exception among public services in embodying the local authorities with political responsibility. This is especially true in Egypt, where the privatization of the service to international firms, and the resulting significant financial burden, has been strongly contested by citizens. In this authoritarian regime, where local elections have extremely high abstention rates, these characteristics have, nevertheless, participated in building an urban political government.
Thirdly, in a transversal and horizontal approach of local government, our presentation will argue that the physical and institutional nature of the service forces a co-production of the service at the local level. We will illustrate that waste management has been the occasion for dialogue and partnership among different actors (inhabitants, private sector, informal sector, national and local authorities) in a kind of autonomy from the State.
To conclude, we will argue that because of these characteristics, waste has been a pioneer subject of urban protestation in Egypt and public cleanliness rhetoric has been used to challenge and contest the Egyptian regime. We will then open the discussion giving some indications about the recent engagement forward waste management under the Morsi government.