The article boils the continuing struggles of the Zabaleen down to three main points:
- Lower prices for processed / recycled garbage, caused by the economic crisis and subsequent drop in demand for the materials
- New laws in Egypt dealing with rubbish collection and sorting
- The slaughter of the Zabaleen’s pigs last year in response to the threat of Swine Flu
It also can’t have helped that the Friday Market burned down, and is now likely to be moved outside of the city. Previously, it was just over the road from Manshiyat Nasser, and so was easy for the Zabaleen to take materials to the market to sell.
Sadly, this is a community at best ignored by the Egyptian government, and it’s hard to see how things will get better in the short term.
Thanks to Nadia Maanani for the photo.