Sharm el Sheikh
May 11, 2014
Eng. Nasr El Din Mahmoud – Head of the Engineering Consultancy Division – Arab Contractors Company,
In reference to the Prime Minister’s meeting regarding the Um el Sid Cliff renovation and stabilization project held on Tuesday May 6, 2014 which concluded, among other things, that you have been assignment as coordinator between the:
Ministry of Environment
Governorate of South Sinai
Arab Contractors Company
Sinai Development Authority
Housing and Building research Center
Dr. Farouk El Kady – Representing the State
Dr. Mamdouh Hamza the consultant representing the Residents
The Sinai Reef Foundation represented by myself, on behalf of the residents of the Um el Sid Cliff in ‘ard al mazad.
After receiving your letter, which was faxed to me on May 8, 2014, first allow me to reply to the contents of your letter:
- With regard to the article pertaining to the sewage system in place at the Um el Sid Cliff:
The entire sewage system network in the Um el Sid Cliff area must be studied, its efficiency must be assessed and renovation work must be undertaken to recondition it as quickly as possible while providing us with all drawings and assessment reports related to this article as work progresses.
- With regard to the article pertaining to environmental work:
We record our objection to what is stated in your letter about the prohibition of planting with a distance of not less than 50 meters of the cliff’s edge. This article having been previously discussed at the aforementioned meeting with the Prime Minister where it was agreed to allow gardens and plants on condition of using drip irrigation and not flood irrigation. Here we clarify that we reject the approval given by the Ministry of Environment to this project. It is now well known to all that it was issued on the basis of a deceitful Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study which failed to mention that the project’s work areas are adjacent to a coast protected by Prime Ministerial Decree number 2035 of 1996 and Environment Law number 4 of 1994, as amended by Law number 9 of 2009 as well as National Park Law number 102 of 1983. In addition the EIA study submitted by the Environmental Affairs Authority (EAA) was completed before the finalization of the engineering designs of the project, as stated by both Dr. Farouk el Kady the environmental consultant and by the Arab Contractors representative during the aforementioned meeting with the Prime Minister on May 6 2014.
The question that poses itself is: how were those responsible for the study issued by the Environmental Research Center of Cairo University able to evaluate the environmental impact of work, which had yet to be determined?
- With regard to the article on the swimming pools at the hotels, villas, and waterparks projects built on the Um el Sid Cliff:
They must be determined and inspected by a specialized engineering committee as quickly as possible in order ascertain their problems and establish a plan of action with respect to their status. We also implore you to inspect the networks providing water to the various parts of the Um el Sid Cliff as well as the desalination plants and their water networks; to which apply all that we mentioned above with regards to the sewage networks so as not to overlook them.
Finally, according to the statement by the Prime Minister to the effect that the policy of this government is to work with transparently with civil society, which is also incumbent upon all involved in this project, we request you to provide two copies of all studies, drawings, research, designs and surveys related to this project:
a) Starting with the geological study undertaken by the Suez Canal University in 2000;
b) The Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority on the stability of the slopes of the Um el Sid Cliff at the Reef Oasis Hotel in February 2001;
c) The reports prepared by Cairo University and Ain Shams University that indicate the appearance of cracks in the Um el Sid Cliff, as mentioned in the EIA (the dates of which those reports are not indicated nor which faculty authored these two reports).
d) The reports of the technical inspection committee for construction work.
e) The technical and engineering study prepared by the Housing and Construction Research Center.
f) The complete EIA study with all annexes, and any other study, which may have been inadvertently overlooked.
This is in addition to two new requests, which are:
a) Complete aerial (mosaic) photographs taken by the Egyptian Armed Forces Survey Body from 1954 until present.
b) A report from the Earthquake Institute at Helwan University correlating to the dates of earthquakes that have affected the area of the Um el Sid Cliff.
- Copied to Dr. Laila Iskandar – Minister of Environment
- Copied to General/ Khalid Fouda – Governor of South Sinai
- Copied to Dr. Mamdouh Hamza – Sinai Reef and the residents of Um el Sid’s consultant