A cooperation protocol was signed today between CEMEX and Very Nile initiative to expand solid waste collection operations from the Nile following the principles of waste hierarchy and to support the fishing community on Qursaya Island, in Cairo. The signing ceremony took place at the Kempinski Hotel on the banks of the Nile in presence of Mr. Eduardo Fragoso, Commercial and International Cooperation Attaché representing H.E. Mr. Octavio Tripp, Ambassador of Mexico to Egypt, Mr. Ahmed Amir, Diplomatic Attaché representing H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Nasr Director of Environment & Sustainable Development Department in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Khaled El-Farra, Advisor to Minister of Environment for Solid Waste Management, the management team of CEMEX and Very Nile, and their guests.
Within the framework of the initiative, more advanced equipment will be provided to collect double the amount of waste, sort it and recycle it. CEMEX will also co-process the rejected waste in its kilns to reach zero waste to landfills. This, in addition to raising awareness among citizens to protect the Nile from the behaviors that lead to its pollution.
Under this cooperation protocol, CEMEX will grant the capital needed to increase equipment used in waste collection, in addition to contributing to the operating cost to sustain the initiative. The duration of this partnership is 3 years, during which 17 to 20 tons of marine litter are expected to be collected on a monthly basis. Employment numbers within the fishing community in the island of Qursaya will rise from 40 to 80 people. While employment among women working in the upcycling workshop will rise from 8 to 24, and the number of plastic operators will rise from 8 to 12.
Commenting on the cooperation protocol and what it represents for Very Nile initiative, Mr. Alban de Menonville, President of Bassita, the founder of VeryNile said, “VeryNile was created with a strong commitment to preserve the Nile by removing plastics and harmful wastes from the river while empowering local communities. We are delighted that CEMEX is supporting us, and that this partnership will enable us to expand the social and environmental impact of this work on an even larger scale”.
The initiative comes as part of CEMEX's Social Impact efforts, represented in value-sharing initiatives and in line with CEMEX's “Future in Action” strategy, which tackles climate change. CEMEX is always keen on leaving a positive impact in the communities in which it operates. This protocol is of great importance to the society in Egypt because it protects the lifeblood of all Egyptians and serves the biodiversity goals of the aquatic life in the Nile River.
In this regard, Mr. Carlos Gonzalez, President of CEMEX Egypt and UAE and Chairman and Managing Director of Assiut Cement Company, said, "The remarkable thing about this initiative is its direct and indirect impact on the quality of life and on the environment in Egypt. We draw a clear line for the lifecycle of solid waste dumped in the Nile, serving the purpose of circular economy and waste hierarchy. Reducing the volume of waste that ends up in sanitary landfills is an important matter for all of us. We are happy that our kilns are the end station for non-recyclable waste and the means to ensure its removal from the ecosystem."
CEMEX continues to work diligently to move forward in all aspects of its " Future in Action" strategy and welcomes partnerships that advance the vision of our company and its stakeholders towards a more sustainable world.