The role of citizen journalism has continued to grow in Egypt, spurred on initially by the media clamp down during the January 2011 protests, during which state media methodically broadcast false and misleading information. Citizen journalism continues to be an important source of information, and Mosireen, a non-profit media collective has been working tirelessly for over a year to collate and publish material giving an honest and oftentimes disturbing picture of events on the Egyptian street-level.
Mosireen’s most recent video takes a closer look at one of the main issues that President Mohamed Morsi had included on his list of problems to tackle during his first 100 days – Egypt’s garbage problem. The 9 minute video, ‘The Right to a Healthy Environment’, features interviews with residents in the impoverished, Abou Seir Village, where they have no other way to deal with a growing garbage problem other than burning the refuse. The village also has no sewage system and faces prolonged water cuts, as long as one month at a time.
The video touches upon the ‘Clean Homeland’ campaign Morsi initiated at the end of July, during which he encouraged volunteers to take to the streets in a nationwide clean-up initiative.
One Abou Seir resident told Mosireen, “We spent two days last week trying to pick up al the trash that was around. It wasn’t two or three days though before all these efforts were wrecked, and another two or three days until we found ourselves in the same place we were.”
Mosireen also reveals the problems facing al-Mex Village, where factories dump waste in the village’s water source. As a result, the village’s residents are suffering from skin diseases as well affecting the livelihood of the village’s fishermen. One resident says, “We stood there in the middle of the revolution, standing guard around the petroleum plant even though it’s injuring us…we defended what’s been harming us.”
Watch the entire video (subtitled in English) below: