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The Development of Nile Banks Villages
The project aims to improve the quality of life in a number of Upper Egypt villages. The implementation of the project depended on key components:
- Comprehensive sustainable development processes in growing numbers, starting with the least developed villages in Upper Egypt.
- Creation of a new concept of development based on effective and positive community participation.
- Development of self-dependence potentialities, methods of preservation of already existing ones and means of promotion of the related benefits in order to capitalize full use.
- Keenness of striking a balance between man and the environment.
- Provision of sustainability components.
The new dimension of the project rests on coordination between social activities schemes and the proposed engineering and construction works in these areas. Both are inter complementary as they serve the common goal, namely, improvement of the quality of life through comprehensive sustainable development.
The number of villages, the stakeholders of the project, had successively grown as of launching the project in 1993 to amount to 113 villages in 2008 in the governorates of Giza, Beni Suef, Minya, Asyut, Sohag, Qena and Aswan. 11 new villages are added in 2009 so the total current number is 124 villages.
A special unit at the headquarters manages the project in collaboration with the branches in which the project is being implemented. The project had been planned in a sound scientific method, starting with an actual study of the problems and needs of such villages through field visits, extensive meetings with the villagers and executives, a question and a survey of the village conditions. The purpose is to identify needs, priorities and potential implementation of a plan of action divided into several stages.
To maintain community participation, consultative committees were formed from villagers to participate in planning then in follow-up of implementation.
This entrenches their feeling of ownership of the project and inculcates a sense of responsibility in order to qualify them to steer the wheel of work gradually and take over from ERC officials to ensure the sustainability of the project.
Community activities were diverse. Some were channeled to the local community, such as activities pertaining the environment improvement cleanliness, planning, hygienic and health services as well as awareness promotion in the different fields-health, environmental and hygienic. Other activities were directed to special segments as women and youth, namely, training on income-generating crafts; establishment of cultural, social and sporting clubs; literacy promotion and opening libraries, other activities serve children like nurseries and baby care units. Others help provide self-support in local communities through training of girls on first aid, youth on rescue and civil defense in order to ensure quick response to local community problems.
To enhance non-governmental work at grassroots level, a number of local societies and ERC divisions were established and leaderships were trained to regulate the contribution of civil society in technical, administrative and financial fields.
The project had immense achievements until 2008, inter alia, 49 centers to train youth on different professions and crafts; elimination of the illiteracy of 17100 learners, mostly females; training 15700 youth (one third of which females) on income-generating crafts; establishment of 65 units for women development (women club); 56 cultural and social clubs for youth; construction of 55 libraries apart from the mobile ones.
The project was presented before UN conference on habitat (1996) as one of the successful practices. It was discussed in an extensive seminar at ERC headquarters on October 27, 2002 in which several ministers, governors, village representatives and development experts participated.