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Dangerous industries monitoring guide

June 2, 2015 by   ·   No comments


Guide on how to monitor and confront violations


State policies strongly encourage foreign investment and industrialized countries increasingly export their highly polluting industries to poor developing countries, and this has helped both dangerous industries expand and the hazardous pollutants they produce increase which affects human health, agricultural products and freshwater resources.  There are many examples of flagrant environmental violations, amongst them cement factories, the fertilizer industry and gas and petroleum extraction. This happens to such an extent that cities such as Helwan and Kafr El-Zayat in the Gharbeya governorate suffer from industrial pollution on a continuous and daily basis.  And at the same time, we witness how citizens, natural leaders and community organisations confront and resist these dangerous industries.  This clearly emerges from citizen’s actions against the Agrium fertilizer plant in Damietta/Ras El Bar, against the Black Carbon Factory and the Cement Factory in Wadi el-Qamar in Alexandria, the efforts of the Arab Abu Saa’id community against the Helwan Fertilizer Factory, the actions against the fertilizer factory in Talkha in the Daqahlia governorate and other cases where citizens protested against companies who violate their environmental rights.


For the efforts to confront environmental violations to be effective we think it is necessary to have an instruction manual which explains citizens, natural leaders and community organisations how to monitor dangerous industries and which is based on the experiences of the Habi Center for Environmental Rights and other community organisations, natural leaders and citizens.


During the preparation of this guide Habi has organized many meetings and consultations with civil organizations, natural leaders and interested lawyers to benefit from their expertise and their vision.  We want this to become an interactive guide with is updated on a constant basis to include new experiences.


This guide has been divided into three sections:

The first section:  With the title “Monitoring” explains how desk monitoring includes the collection, identification and verification of basic and essential information on the factory which is causing the environmental violation.  This section on desk monitoring identifies the different types of information that must be collected.

As part of the field monitoring, this section likewise explains steps to take at the location of the violation itself, and explains how this includes taking the necessary action when confronted with a violation while monitoring.
The second section: Further explains field monitoring by introducing four practical examples of how to confront environmental violations that impact health, water, the air or agriculture.


The third section:  With the title “Procedures” further clarifies the required actions that are mentioned in the abovementioned practical examples.  We’ve seen that there is a need to specify the legal actions and tools our fellow lawyers can use in front of the competent authorities to allow citizens to claim their environmental rights.  In this section we focused on the methods to prove and substantiate violations on one hand and gain access to the competent judicial authorities on the other hand.  This also includes the steps to write a complaint to confront environmental violations caused by hazardous industries.


We aim to continuously add different experiences and observations to this guide.  As such we greatly welcome any questions, remarks or additions.

You can download the guide here: Dangerous industries monitoring guide




The objective of the manual

Target groups

Monitoring phases


Monitoring team

Desk monitoring

Field monitoring

Confronting violations

Confronting industrial pollution of freshwater resources

Confronting industrial air pollution

Confronting health impacts from dangerous industries

Confronting contaminated agricultural soil

Taking action

Legal action

Court action

Steps to write a complaint

Infograph: Confronting industrial pollution of freshwater resources

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Infograph: Confronting industrial air pollution

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Infograph: Confronting health impacts from dangerous industries

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Infograph: Confronting contaminated agricultural soil


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