You can now take part in removing the waste from the streets by only taking a picture and sharing its location. Dawar App is making this possible, the app is currently monitoring in Maadi and Tora neighborhoods. However, we were curious to know more about it and dig deep into the idea. How did Dawar App start, how can people engage themselves in the process? And most importantly to know their expansion plans. That’s why we decided to speak with Hussein Barrada, the marketing and business development director.
Doha Moustafa (D.M): How did the idea of Dawar start?
Hussein Barrada (H.B): Dawar started from the need to digitize the paper process in the supervision and collection of street waste. Previously, the government was responsible for monitoring the waste collection companies. In addition to writing paper reports that state the location of the street waste and the time. These reports resulted in the assessment of the performance of the waste collection companies and affected their payment accordingly.
We worked to digitize this process so that the paper report would be a photo that is logged with GPS and time stamp. And we created the system in such a way that this photo would be sent automatically to the waste collector of this specific area on his mobile. Allowing him to clean it and take an after photo. The next step was to introduce the residents through a user-friendly app. So that they too can take part in the waste management system and the cleanliness of their neighborhood.
(D.M): Is this a private initiative or a governmental one?
(H.B): Private company Environ-Adapt provided Dawar as a part of the waste management and monitoring system to the Ministry of Environment.
(D.M): Local municipalities are the ones responsible for waste management, why was it difficult in the first place to keep the streets clean?
(H.B): The problem is multifaceted that involves citizen awareness, the limited number of bins and home collection. However, the way Dawar contributed to improving street cleanliness is by decreasing the amount of time garbage was on the streets. That is achieved through logging, measuring and improving street waste collection efficiency.
(D.M): What are the challenges that faces you currently?
(H.B): The challenges we face are mainly in synchronizing between the relevant stakeholders involved in the waste management process.
(D.M): Are the public really helping and using the app wisely?
(H.B): Yes we receive reports on a daily basis. However not all areas have the same level of engagement.
(D.M): What do you do with the waste collected from the streets?
The authorized collection service collects the waste in the area and it goes through the normal cycle which is; first it goes to transfer stations where most of the valuable waste is segregated for recycling. Then other bigger waste trucks collect what is remaining in the transfer stations and transport them to landfills.
(D.M): Do you have a plan for expanding?
Yes, we have signed a protocol with the Ministry of Environment earlier this year making the system we offered, the official waste monitoring and management system. The system will be rolled out in seven Governorates namely Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Qena, Assuit, Gharbia and Kafr El Sheikh. This, however, will take a considerable amount of time to take effect. Since it involves training, management and optimizing the process in each governorate on the waste monitoring and management system before we are able to release Dawar to the residents.
Our first on-ground expansion took place after having worked in Maadi and Tora for a year. We officially launched the app with the Ministry of Environment on September 30th, 2019 to kick off the expansion in 4 other districts; Heliopolis, Shobra, Abdeen, and Rod EL Farag. We are currently working with the governmental authorities and collection companies and training them to use the digital system. So that we are able to receive and resolve reports coming from residents in these areas. This is always a work in progress and with every expansion to a new district we adjust and improve the system accordingly.