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Before & After

Effort to lower groundwater rescues a historic place from ruin and benefits Old Cairo residents
Rescuing an Ancient Roman Tower in Old Cairo
Photo of the Roman Tower before renovation
Photo: USAID/Wafaa Faltaous
BEFORE: For two decades, rising contaminated groundwater flooded the 1,700-year-old Roman Tower in Old Cairo, gradually damaging the structure. Urgent solutions were required to rescue the monument from further deterioration.

Photo of the Roman Tower after renovation
Photo: Wafaa S. Faltaous
AFTER: The project lowered the groundwater under the Roman Tower's original stone flooring, making the structure accessible for visitors, and Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities is conducting further restoration efforts. Improved sewage services installed as part of the project benefit the 140,000 citizens who live near the site.

A high level of groundwater, resulting in part from leaking sewers and the rise and fall of the Nile, threatened the structural integrity of several buildings and monuments in Old Coptic Cairo, including the Roman Tower, built in 300 AD (333 BH). USAID and the government of Egypt jointly allocated more than LE57 million ($15 million) to rescue the ancient monuments through efforts to imrove the area's sewage system.

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