The USAID-funded project sought to engage local Red Sea residents equitably in the economic, social and cultural benefits generated by the tourism sector in their governorate, with a focus on job creation and the protection, management, and sustainable use of the community’s natural and cultural assets. As part of the consortium implementing this project, CID was responsible for designing a new approach to solid waste management that was sustainable, effective, and inclusive.
While the specific objective for this project was to introduce a new approach for community-based solid waste management, there was a much larger overall objective which we were working towards: promoting sustainable natural and cultural tourism development in the region which satisfies the influx of tourists and their needs, without disrupting – and, in fact, benefitting – the lives of local residents. Working closely with the project’s partners and the local community we were able to introduce at-source segregation schemes for the first time in the Red Sea. This system was complemented by a series of new initiatives, including waste recovery, transportation and recycling schemes; Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs); clean-up campaigns; controlled dumpsites and cross-cutting environmental education, awareness and communications activities. All of these important strands of work helped us to realize the refreshed, progressive vision and system for the region which we had established.
Through implementing these processes, we were able to enhance the competitiveness of Egypt in the fast-growing international tourism market. As a result of our three-year engagement on the project we also helped ensure the protection, management and sustainable use of the natural assets upon which the Southern Red Sea Region’s community’s livelihoods are based. Most rewardingly of all, we were then able to communicate this to the region’s inhabitants – discussing the economic, social and cultural benefits increased tourism would have, including those new job opportunities which would be created.