introducing low-cost, community-appropriate sewage systems in Egypt's villages to improve public health, quality of life and the

introducing low-cost, community-appropriate sewage systems in Egypt's villages to improve public health, quality of life and the

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Together Egypt (TE) intends to provide rural Egyptian villages with affordable, low-tech water sanitation systems which can be sourced and built locally. Water sanitation systems are of major importance in Egypt as most waste water in rural areas currently is not treated at all, thus polluting ground water, causing health problems and contaminating food/crop. The technology of TE’s sanitation system is proven and has already been implemented successfully in one Egyptian village. Its main advantages are the technological simplicity resulting in high reliability, a lower investment and usage cost compared to existing conventional systems, as well as in the possibility to source all components locally and employ locals,

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

By building this system with local materials and operating with people that live in the villages (specifically unemployed youths), Together Egypt generates wages and creates jobs in these villages that would not otherwise exist. Each village is expected to have five people that are trained to maintain the water treatment facility, with additional jobs being available during the construction phase.Over the past five years, in the Minya Governorate (specifically in the village El Ttafeekya) 150 people suffered from the typhoid epidemic, as a result of the contaminated water tank in the village that took underground water contaminated by unhealthy latrines.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

These figures give the impression that Egypt is a water rich country and for the last 15 years, the vast majority of villages in the Minya Governorate (Upper Egypt) have been gradually connected to the drinking water network, leading to a significant increase of water consumption. While this has been a generally pleasing development, the increasing supply of water unfortunately has not been coupled with the necessary installation of related sanitation systems. This is because the high costs for government-proposed sewage systems (up-front investment of roughly $450 per citizen) often turn out to be too high for the small rural communities making up a majority of the Minya Governorate. Furthermore, widespread poverty and low levels of education have often prevented the rapid adoption of appropriate technologies through local initiatives or the private sector. Going forward, the ministry's ten year development plan of 2010 continues to aim at delivering drinking water to villages, but does not sufficiently focus on developing the corresponding sanitation systems which are required.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

 Improved public health in the local community, mainly because of the availability of better sanitation and a safer water supply.  Lower costs for communities compared to government-proposed sewage systems that often call for massive investments, thus increasing the likelihood that a community will actually be able to develop a system that meets its inhabitants’ needs.  Unemployed village youths or other members of the community are trained to construct and provide maintenance services for these systems, therefore generating local employment.  The increased availability of basic infrastructure reduces the pressure to migrate to urban centers for inhabitants of rural areas, especially its younger population.  Further benefits include the ability to produce organic fertilizer and water suitable for irrigation purposes
About You
Together association for development and environment
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

Together association for development and environment

Organization Phone


Organization Address

8 captain ahmed - Minya - Egypt

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact
How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

Through his work with 17 community development associations (CDAs) in as many villages benefiting 32,700 people, he is now convinced that he has a viable model to improve water quality and sanitation in rural areas through low-cost sewage systems. Sameh has created a network of like-minded grassroots organizations that can now demonstrate and advocate for wider adoption of his idea by other villages and policymakers. He has trained teams of five people in each village. As a condition of their participation, each of the CDAs involved with him must work with other formal or non-formal groups in nearby villages, and thus spreading the new technology.

Because of the villagers' outreach, I am now enters new communities by invitation. Depending on the size of the village, the current investment by households in stand-alone septic tanks, their needs and preferences, Sameh outlines the various ways they can address their sanitation needs and explains the environmental health benefits. They discuss the idea, options and the process and a local team of five persons is created and trained to implement the plan. They are also networked with the other local teams for wider outreach and advocacy.

For individual households, he shows them a cost-effective dual chamber septic tank that can be constructed with locally-available materials and labor. This model does not require the costly frequent pumping of traditional closed septic tanks because it is larger and has an internal filtering system of sand and gravel for sewage water. By customizing the size of the tanks to t

Social Impact
How many people have been impacted by your project?

1,001 - 10,000

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

By introducing low-cost sewage systems as described in detail in the following sections to rural communities, Together Egypt is able to offer its customers the ability to mitigate the problems described above and is able to achieve the goals set forth in the Theory of Change section of this business plan.

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

Raise community-wide awareness of the project, its components, its importance to public health and the environment, and the need for universal support for its success. Encourage members of the community to contribute to the project implementation in cash and kind Train village youths, favoring those who are unemployed, in the operation and maintenance of the system. Form a local committee responsible for follow-up of management arrangements.

For each selection, please explain the financial and non-financial support from each

Together Egypt’s business model, whereby service fees charge to the community is based on marginal cost of operating the water treatment plant, will result in a break-even financial scenario. In the next section, we will discuss in detail our assumptions on which our forward-looking financial statements are based. To properly analyze Together Egypt’s financials, we decided to present separately the financial statements of the central office and of the water treatment plant. In doing so, we can provide true financial insights as to the economics of operating a water treatment plant. We assume that it takes about two years to construct a water treatment plant. Hence, cash inflow will only be reflected in the financials during the third year. For this business plan, we expect to have one water treatment plant to become operational in 2013. Two new plants will be constructed from 2014 to 2015.

How do you plan to grow and/or diversify your base of support in the next three years?

Our current pricing strategy is to charge per household at US$ 1.2 per month. This fee was agreed on by the core team based on the study we made as to how much the local villagers would be willing to pay for this service. Essentially, this rate is the marginal cost of maintaining and operating the water treatment plant. Small, rural villages in Egypt usually comprise about 4,600 people. A typical household in Egypt constitutes about 6 people. Thereby, a rural village has about 750 households.
This forms the basis of our revenue calculation. Every year, once the plant becomes operational, we will recognize about LE 0.06M every year for each water treatment plant. As can be inferred above, further research on our pricing strategy is still needed by ensuring that the true benefit that we provide to these communities is partly captured in the fees.

Please select your areas of intervention in the home improvement market

Technology, Labor, Sanitation, Environment, Urban development, Rural development.

Is your innovation addressing barriers in the home improvement/progressive housing market? If so, please describe in detail your mechanisms of intervention

 Raise community-wide awareness of the project, its components, its importance to public health and the environment, and the need for universal support for its success.
 Encourage members of the community to contribute to the project implementation in cash and kind.
 Train village youths, favoring those who are unemployed, in the operation and maintenance of the system.
 Form a local committee responsible for follow-up of management arrangements.
We are currently in the process of measuring the social benefit that accrues from our water treatment system. We also acknowledge that further development of metrics and tools, given that for example hospital or clinic data is not widely available, is essential as we seek to assess how we can improve our impact, and measure the full extent of the benefits that our water treatment system is able to provide to the community. This information will definitely help us convince communities to migrate to our waste water treatment system.

Are you currently collaborating with private companies, or have you partnered with private companies in the past? With which companies?

Harmes foundation of the copaqny in Egypt

Please describe in detail the nature of the partnership(s)

local Awareness & involvement
By raising awareness among the affected rural population, support for the installation of our sewage treatment system can be gathered, while the number of potential future customers can be estimated. Involvement of local residents at this early stage of the project is essential, because a key element of the strategy is to develop individual solutions based on the community’s needs. This approach is preferred over applying generic models taken from research centers and text books, because such models are much less suited to the individual situation of a community.
Human capital: recruit local team members and provide expert support
During this early stage of the operation the implementation team is formed. This team includes a group of locals (usually 5 people) which are recruited and trained to actively implement the system. Furthermore, competent engineering consultants must be engaged to assist in preparing tender documents, including technical specifications of the project and qualifications of bidders. Engineering consultant will be hired for system design (collection, lift station, treatment plant and preparation of tender documents, later supervising and quality assurance of construction). Finally, a supervising engineer must be appointed, responsible for monitoring the quality of the on-site implementation and village youth (especially those currently unemployed) can be trained to work on operating and maintaining the system once implementation is complete.
Project organization: developing and implementing and individual solution
The team surveys the community to determine the locations of lift stations within the village and of the treatment plan on its edge. It also draws up technical plans and specifications as well as timetables and milestones on which the implementation process can be based. During this process the cooperation of local team members and external advisors allows for a powerful combination of detailed knowledge about the community, especially its needs and specific frame conditions, with expert technical knowledge and experience. The following detailed activity plan outlines the key activities that will be carried out in order to successfully implement the solution developed by our team.

Select the unit(s) with which the partnership was formed

Foundation of the company, Corporate social responsibility department.