Omar El-Deeb, an Egyptian engineer, launched “Shagrha” or “Afforestation” initiative to grow fruit trees in streets instead of the ornamental ones. El- Deeb came up with this idea in 2016 when he noticed people of the region eating from a berry tree in front of his house in El-Obour city.
At this point, he decided to plant similar trees in the surrounding areas. After awhile, he managed to plant other fruit trees and his efforts turned out to be a wider initiative calling for afforestation. Regarding number of the initiative’s members, he stated that the administrative team consists of 10 persons.
Apart from the presidential neighborhood, this initiative focuses on training normal people how to plant their own streets by themselves. Till now, “Shagrha” reached 10 governorates in Egypt besides other Arabic countries like Jordan, Tunisia, Palestine and Yemen. People in some European countries are also following the initiative’s Facebook page.
The Egyptian engineer confirmed that he got various subsidies from Egypt’s Ministry of Environment, the European Union (EU), Rotary Foundation, The American University in Cairo (AUC), sports club, huge number of media outlets and companies. “Furthermore, some cultural centers helped us in holding workshops and seminars like Abdel Moneim El-Sawy Culturewheel,” he added. “The number of the Facebook page’s followers reached 5 million people and we held about 150 events and 25 workshops,” he clarified.
In the same context, the initiative focuses on planting roofs and balconies using hydroponics technique which saves 80% of water and other inputs necessary for planting. El-Deeb stated that “Shagrha” was honored twice by the National Research Center and was chosen as one of the best 10 NGOs in Egypt.
Contributed by Salma Yassin