ABU MINQAR FIELD SITE
In the heart of the Western Desert lies one of Egypt’s most remote oasis, Abu Minqar, which originally came to being as part of the government’s desert reclamation programs from the 1980s. The oasis is located 100 km south of Farafra and 650 km southwest of Cairo. Settlers came from across Egypt, with around 4,500 now populating the six communities of the oasis. Outside of agriculture, few opportunities for livelihood generation exist. Farmers grow mainly open field crops such as alfalfa, clover, wheat, maize and fava beans using mainly flood irrigation. Livestock production, particularly of cattle, also plays an important role in the oasis. Abu Minqar is wholly reliant on one non-renewable source for its entire domestic and agricultural water supply -- the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer. Since 2006, RISE (then the DDC) has been engaging in research and development work in the oasis.
EL HEIZ FIELD SITE
El Heiz is a village situated 40 km south of Bahariya Oasis and 440 km southwest of Cairo in the governorate of Giza. The village of 3,800 residents is divided into 17 settlements, each holding between eight and 100 houses, forming a total of approximately 550 households scattered around a 14 km radius. Remote and scarcely populated, the community receives little governmental support and no developmental attention. The hayazeya
(people of El Heiz) have adopted a rather primitive lifestyle mostly focused around the cultivation of dates. Flood irrigation is the overwhelmingly most common practice. RISE began working with the El Heiz community in September 2013.
Shubra Qubala is a typical southern Nile Delta village. It is located in the governorate of Monofiya close to the city of Banha. Most members of the community engage in agricultural production, focusing mainly on the production of vegetables, clover as feedstock, wheat and maize. Shubra farmers have access to irrigation water through Nile canal systems, but will turn to digging shallow wells to access local aquifers due to water shortages. Farmers practice exclusively flood irrigation. RISE has been working in Shubra since 2011.