Designing Infrastructure With Community Collaboration


We were contracted by the Agha Khan Foundation to support the Al Darb Al Ahmar (ADAA) area in Cairo in the design of a new waste system based on waste segregation to organic and non-organic, providing more opportunities for recycling.

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We approached the project by conducting a study to analyse the current solid waste management (SWM) system, including a waste composition and characterisation study for Al Darb Al Ahmar. This study also included the technical, institutional, legal, social, environmental, and economic aspects of the SWM system, covering service provision and service recipients. Based on this study, we worked with Aga Khan to design a new system, and engaged with the local municipality to better understand the legal and institutional framework governing the integration of an appropriate serve provider as an officially accepted entity to implement SWM services in the area. We used this understanding to develop an operational implementation plan that included training and developing the community’s young population to participate in the newly designed system. We conducted interviews and focus groups to properly consult and familiarise the community with the new waste system, and successfully built the foundation of the new system design.


In partnership with Aga Khan, we were able to design an appropriate and tailored SWM system for collection, transfer, recovery, recycling and the development of effective cleaning services for the Al Darb Al Ahmar neighbourhood. By doing so in collaboration with the community and the municipality, we ensured a collaborative and inclusive model to take forward with regards to upgrading of services at the municipal level.


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