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14 July 2003 -- U.S., Egypt Put Hazardous Waste Management in Action

USAID Assists as Egypt Publicizes Hazardous Waste Procedures

Cairo, Egypt - Egypts government and private sector with assistance from the United States are taking steps to ensure that hazardous waste is handled safely. A U.S.-funded project assisted Egyptian officials in devising a system for managing hazardous wastes and for licensing the entities that handle it. This month, the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) is distributing guidelines to key ministries that will explain the procedures to all affected stakeholders.

Easy guides in English and Arabic explain safe proceduresHazardous wastes are industrial and medical byproducts that are flammable, corrosive, toxic or otherwise dangerous to public health. The Government of Egypt has identified hazardous waste management as one of its environmental priorities.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID/Egypt) devoted $1.3 million over the last two years to help the Government of Egypt build the regulatory framework to safely manage hazardous waste. The work included training, public awareness planning and coordinating the many affected branches of the government. USAID/Egypt worked with the Inter-ministerial Task Force on Hazardous Wastes, which included representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture, Electricity, Health, Industry, Interior, and Petroleum, the EEAA, and the Customs Authority.

The task force:
  • Wrote guidelines for classifying hazardous waste.
  • Finalized a system to license entities that generate, store, transport, recycle or dispose of hazardous waste.
  • Agreed on a policy for the proper temporary storage of hazardous waste at production sites.
  • Wrote guidelines for the safe transportation of hazardous wastes.
  • Printing the guidelines as well as condensed easy guide versions (pictured above; to view large version, click here)
  • Began writing guidelines for recycling solvents and other types of non-medical hazardous waste.

    USAID handed over the policy effort to the Egyptian government at a recent conference noting the accomplishments to date. Attending the June 29 event were Egypts Minister of Higher Education Dr. Mufeed Shehab, Minister of Health and Population Dr. Mohamed Awad Tag El Din, Minister of State for Military Production Dr. Said Meshaal, Minister of Electricity and Energy Dr. Hassan Younis, and Minister of State for Local Development General Mostafa Abdel Qader, as well as the Governor of Giza, Counselor Mahmoud Aboul Leil Rashed.

    U.S. officials emphasized that successful management of hazardous waste will require the understanding and participation of a large number of government bodies, the private sector including industries and hospitals, and civil society.

    No country with the population size and industrialization level of Egypt can long ignore the question of how to safely handle and dispose of dangerous chemicals and biological agents, USAID Acting Deputy Director John Groarke told the officials. Based on the dynamic cooperation that we have seen to date, your partners at USAID have no doubt that this work will continue and succeed.

    The assistance is part of USAID/Egypt's Egyptian Environmental Policy Program. For more information on the EEPP, click here.
  • This document was last updated in Friday, July 16, 2004
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