Death in the Lake

Fishermen bear the brunt of development and climate change

The fishermen love the lake. They have lived their whole lives on its banks. However, it no longer repays their love. Toxins from factories, as well as human waste, are dumped into it daily, killing fish and starving fishermen.

Fish farmers in the northeast of the country, particularly in the Shata region of Damietta Governorate, are paying a high price for climate change and the government's neglect of sewage stations in villages overlooking fish farms. In Port Said, the brave city, the village of fishermen who lived through the war is now vacant and covered with rubbish from massive factories, its inhabitants having abandoned it in search of work elsewhere.

The lake that connects Shata and Al-Qabouti was dirty and neglected for decades, before the current government began cleaning it up. However, both areas remain deprived and polluted.

This two-part investigation deals with the effects of pollution on fish farmers in Shata, where sanitation problems have killed the fish and doubled their debts to the Fisheries Authority. In Al-Qabouti, fishermen have migrated for fear of meeting the fate of their colleagues, whose sick bodies fill hospital beds.

To begin the journey, click on the map's locations.

Investigation: Eman Mounir

Photography: Ali Zarai

Video: Chrouq Ghoniem

Illustrations: Ahmed Beka

This publication was made possible through the Candid Journalism Grant 2021.

To read the investigation in Arabic: click here