CAIRO: Minister of Agriculture Adel el-Beltagy visited Halayeb and Shalateen in the far Southeast of Egypt near the Sudanese border to promote a solar-powered housing project in the impoverished and underdeveloped region, Sada al-Balad reported Monday.
The buildings’ designs were inspired by the late Dr. Hassan Fathy and use domes to reduce heat inside buildings, as the temperature in southern Egypt during the summer can reach 50 degrees Celsius. The complex will also have a cultural center and classrooms, Sada al-Balad added.
Beltagy also toured 1,250 acres of crustacean-rich mangrove forests located in the Hamata Nature Reserve. He said that 20 fishing boats will be given to fishermen to increase their output, and enable them to serve Egyptian markets.
Shalateen Mayor Wageeh Mamoun said in November that the cabinet had approved a plan to develop the Berenice region comprising Halayeb, Shalateen and Abu Ramad. Al-Masry Al-Youm reported on Nov. 28, 2013.
The plan is scheduled to end in November 2014. It includes the settlement of 4,300 families. Each family will have 600 square meters allocated for them to have a house, Al-Masry Al-Youm added.
The region of 40,000 people is still largely nomadic. The local economy relies heavily on the camel trade with Sudan and harvesting medicinal plants, Youm7 reported in 2009.
The region is also contested territorially between Egypt and Sudan, but currently is under Egyptian control.