Manshiyat Nasser represents one of Cairo’s largest informal settlements. The area among the foothills of the Mokattam mountains has been developed by rural migrants from Upper Egypt and people driven into districts of Cairo in the wake of rapid urbanisation. Manshiyat Nasser is home to over 1 million people. While still a very poor district of Cairo, the slum has a dynamic urban quarter and an industrial area that has evolved by generating income from traditional handicrafts and recycling. Commonly referred to as "garbage city" for its recycling acitivty, Manshiyat Nasser is a community that is working hard towards its own future. Settlement of the government-owned land has taken place without any authorisation, land titles or construction plans. As a result the urban development is quite haphazard and entirely lacking any legal basis and proper administrative infrastructure. People have limited access to basic services such as drinking water, sanitation and electricity or other social services such as education and health care.
Since the January 25th 2011 revolution in Egypt, urban informality has been growing at an especially rapid rate. UN-Habitat has supported the Cairo governorate in addressing urban development and land management issues, as well as identifying urgent socio-economic and environmental concerns. Projects aim to enhance planning methods and strategic development to respond efficiently and realistically to local priorities. The sense of ownership by the participants has helped to ensure the sustainability of projects.
Association for the Protection of the Environment (APE) is a program dedicated to preserving the environment while improving the livelihoods of those who collect and sort garbage. APE offers an opportunity for young people to receive education and training while engaging in income-generating activities. The youngsters attend literacy classes, so that they can later continue their education. They are taught weaving, quilting or paper-recycling to earn income from the products they create.
Association for the Protection of the Environment (2015). http://www.ape-egypt.com/
Hands Along the Nile Development Services (2015). Association for the Protection of the Environment. http://www.handsalongthenile.org/causes/association-for-the-protection-of-the-environment-ape-a-literacy-and-job-skills-training-center-for-women-cairo/
UNHabitat (2012). Greater Cairo Urban Development Strategy. http://unhabitat.org/egypt/