In spring of 2021, oeoo launched a new long-term cleaning project of the Nile and adjacent waters in Cairo together with the local NGO VeryNile.
With a population of around 20 million, Cairo is the largest metropolis in Africa. At 6.671 km, the Nile is not only the longest river on the continent and the most important source of drinking water in the desert state, but is also one of the 10 rivers most polluted with plastic waste in the world.
Where these two superlatives meet, oeoo 2020, together with the local veryNile initiative and numerous volunteers, is launching a new long-term clean-up project of the Nile and adjacent waters in Cairo .
In summer of 2021, oeoo launched a new SeeHamster on the Nile, which will be staffed with 3 local operators five days a week to clean the banks of the Nile.
The waste collected is segragated on the boat (PET, HDPE, Aluminium, non reccylable plastics) and processed according tot he kind of marine litter. PET and HDPE are fully recycled, and aluminium is processed by the Zabaleen (a group of people specialized in manual waste disposal).
In addition, VeryNile has been providing on-site education since 2018 to educate the often uninformed population about the consequences of (Marine) littering. Through our extensive contacts with the Egyptian Ministry of Environment and Education, we have a competent partner at our hands with VeryNile to build a successful cleaning project on site in the coming years.
This project is financed by contributions from the Röchling Foundation as well as individual donations.
The Nile, with more than 6.600 km the longest river on the continent, was already praised by the pharaohs as the lifeline of the country. This appreciation does no longer exsist. Although the desert state’s main source of drinking water, the Nile is one of the 10 most polluted rivers in the world.
The large river with its many irrigation canals has degenerated into a dump for the whole of Egypt.
Plastic carpets pollute the water. Over time, the plastic waste decomposes into microplastics, which end up in the fields with irrigation. The situation in the metropolis of millions of Cairo is particularly bad.
Since the beginning of 2021, despite Corona, our clean-up project in Cairo has started in cooperation with the local environmental organisation VeryNile. oeoo used donations to finance the construction of a SeeHamster, which was built on site in Cairo in just four weeks according to oeoo’s plans (see photos). After it was even inaugurated by the Egyptian Minister of the Environment at the beginning of March, it is now in regular use.
Together with 50 volunteers, over 1,000 kg of waste have already been collected. From May 2021, oeoo will finance the crew of the SeeHamster consisting of 2 people for the regular operation and maintenance of the SeeHamster.
At the end of 2021, a “Nile Day” is planned with all riparian states of the Nile, which will be conceived by oeoo and will focus on joint efforts to improve the rubbish situation.
Initiated in December 2018 by the Egyptian startup Bassita, VeryNile VeryNile is the first initiative to develop sustainable means to clean the Nile while raising awareness on the importance of protecting our environment. VeryNile interlaces social and environmental impact and develops eco-friendly solutions to remove inorganic waste from the river.
In addition, VeryNile provides valuable educational work on site, training people on plastic prevention, waste disposal and the consequences of (marine) littering.
oeoo will now support their work with technical know-how and equipment.
In March 2019, ARD Weltspiegel showed a contribution to the topic and introduces our cooperation partners from VeryNile:
More information about VeryNile can be found here.
On 18 September, World Cleanup Day 2021, oeoo launched a “Nile Coalition” together with its partner VeryNile and organisations from the riparian countries Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. The goal of the coalition is to free the Nile from waste and to permanently protect it from harmful environmental impacts. In the medium term, five more countries bordering the Nile are to join.
Initiator oeoo was able to win the following environmental organisations for the coalition:
VeryNile in Egypt
Uganda Junior Rangers and Greenwatch in Uganda
Red Rocks Initiative in Rwanda
Association Burundaise pour la protection de la Nature (ABN) in Burundi.
Together, they will take concrete steps in their countries to clean up and protect the Nile, promote the issue on the official agenda and try to gain maximum publicity and support for the common cause.Nile-Coalition-launch-report.pdf