“The overriding aim of the 13 Villages project is to strive for a life of dignity for all people living in the area around SEKEM,” says Anas Saad who is working in DeVilag Service Office.
As water is the source of life, cooperation between SEKEM, Heliopolis University and the organization “Life From Water” was recently established to help around 500 individuals to have drinking water access in El Sheikh Hammed area; a part of the 13 villages, with about 50 buildings and an average of 6 people per flat. The majority of people in El Sheik Hammed are farmers and workers. The community development activities are guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), especially SDG 6 – clean water for all.
One significant challenge the inhabitants face in this area is the limitation of access to drinking water. The nearest source is approx. 1.5 km away, in Salam Alam Village, and currently, drinking water is transported by truck 3 times per week. The quality of the water depends on the tanker used. Water from the only well in the area is suitable for washing and irrigation only because of high salinity.
Students and staff of Heliopolis University conducted a needs analysis in 2018 and identified drinking water supply as a top priority. They are now supported both by the Centre for Education for Sustainable Development, and the Devilag Service Office (DSO) within HU. Together with the villagers, all partners recently started three parallel operations to design a water pipe by securing financing and obtaining approval from the administrative Egyptian Government.