Egypt. December 2009.
The buildings are built on the sand at the foot of Mount Sinaï. Haggana used to be an outlying suburb of Cairo: now, it is one of the city’s largest slum.
In Cairo, 40% of the population live in these “informal” areas, whose development comes from a rural exodus which started in the 1960s.
High voltage power lines streak the sky above the roofs and wastewater leaks through the walls, yet there is neither running water nor electricity in the flats. These districts are like Cairo’s garbage can, and garbage recycling is part of their economy. The majority of the inhabitants know precarious living conditions and extreme insalubrity. Only a very few of them can have healthcare, which is very rare in the country. Living in these districts is like being sentenced to exclusion: it’s easy for the Authority to ignore them, as they have no administrative existence.
Because in Egypt, one has to pay for his birth certificate, most of the inhabitants of the slum have no legal existence. Only 1200 of 1 billion of Haggana’s inhabitants have their personal voter card, which excludes the population from political decisions.