SEKEM WAHAT

Greening The Desert
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Our Vision

With SEKEM Wahat Greening The Desert Project we are aiming to reclaim around 1.000 ha of desert land and turn it into fertile soil.

We are encouraging local people to build a sustainable community that is relying on the principles of biodynamic agriculture.

With SEKEM Wahat Greening The Desert we’re reclaiming about 1.000 hectar of desert land and turning it into fertile land again. We’re encouraging people to build a sustainable community, that is relying on the pricipals of bio-dynamic agriculture.

Ecology

Reclamation of desertified land through biodynamic agriculture helps to combat climate change.

Social Life

The main goal for SEKEM Wahat is the creation of a community life, in which people work, live, share and develop together. 

Culture

SEKEM is deeply convinced that art and culture-related activities contribute to human development and unfold an individual’s potential.

Economy

With SEKEM’s  Economy of Love approach we make sure that our business activities are sustainable; ensure and secure the livelihood of everyone within the value chain.

SEKEM Wahat
Creating out of nothing

With this motto SEKEM community started its long journey in 1997 at the mother farm located in the north-eastern Nile Delta with a mission to transform Egypt’s desert landscape and create fertile land for organic agricultural use.

Today, the SEKEM farm has become not only a natural habitat for a great number of plants and animals, but also a place where people from different cultural backgrounds work, live, share, learn and develop together.

With an ongoing Greening The Desert Project, SEKEM is facing the major challenges of today.

In times of tremendous population growth, increasing air and water pollution, decreasing biodiversity, climate change, unsecured jobs and other social challenges, SEKEM wants to create a place that can serve the needs of a sustainable community.

This place is located 300km southwest from Cairo and is called Wahat.

SEKEM Wahat
Creating out of nothing

According to this motto the SEKEM community started already in 1997 on the mother farm in the north eastern Nile Delta with the transformation of Egypts desert landscape to create new fertile land for organic agricultural use. Today, the SEKEM farm is a natural habitat for a vast number of flora and fauna and a place where people from different cultural backgrounds work, live, share, learn and develop together.
With the ongoing project Greening The Desert, SEKEM is facing the major challenges of today. In times of tremendous population growth, increasing air and water pollution, decreasing biodiversity, great climate change effects, unsecured jobs and social challenges, SEKEM wants to create a place that serves the needs of a sustainable community. This place is located 300km south west from Cairo and is called Wahat.

The 3rd phase

Started: 01.09.2022

The first and second phases of the project were successfully finished with 400.000€ funds raised for each phase.

Now it is time for a new chapter and new challenges. With confidence and excitement we are entering the third phase of the Greening the Desert Project!

Funding in progress

  • 0% 0%
Start0€ / 400.000€

We invite you to become a part of our project and contribute to the greening of the Egyptian desert

Share this project with your friends and help us to make SEKEM Wahat more popular

3rd Phase

Starts: 01.09.2022

After we successfully finished the 1st and 2nd phase with a 400.000€ funding for each, we’re starting now with confidence and joy, the 3rd phase.

Funding in progress

Start0€ / 400.000€

We invite you to become a part of our projet and to contribute in the greening of the Egyptian desert

Share this project with your friends and help us to make SEKEM Wahat more popular

How SEKEM Wahat
will look like in the future

Based on our vision for SEKEM Wahat we want to develop a self-sufficient community in which people from different cultural backgrounds come together to share the same mission.
With the implementation of our core program, we want to contribute to human development and to the unfolding of the individual potentials in the new community in SEKEM Wahat.

In 2020, we will continue with the conscious usage of precious resources of water, soil and energy. Therefore we choose pivots powered by solar systems to reclaim our 530 hectares of desert land and transform the desert to be a healthy living soil organism based on biodynamic principles.

How SEKEM Wahat
will look like in the future

Guided by our vision for SEKEM Wahat we strive to develop a self-sufficient community where people from different cultural backgrounds work side by side, united by the same mission.

With implementation of our core program, we want to contribute to human development and unfold each individual’s potential in this new community.

In 2022, we will continue with the conscious usage of precious resources of water, soil and energy.

Therefore, we choose pivot irrigation systems to be powered by solar energy to reclaim the desert land and transform it to a healthy living soil organism with biodynamic techniques.

Our goals at a glance

 

CORE PROGRAM

SEKEM is convinced that the potential of one individual is evolving with the inclusion of arts and culture.

Hence, here at SEKEM Wahat we focus on offering people and students space for their individual development and potential unfolding instead of providing them only with universal teaching and learning models.

At SEKEM Wahat we want to evoke questions instead of giving answers.

During the second phase an ongoing Community Based Learning (CBL) program with HU students has been implemented at Wahat farm.

Through this program students could meet real life challenges of people living in Wahat desert, apply their own knowledge to find practical solutions for them and exchange experiences with the local community.

BASIC HEALTH CARE

With our integrative health care approach we look holistically at each individual.

We take into consideration the relation between body, mind and spirit.

We start with the implementation of a healthcare booklet to record and monitor the well-being and health condition of the community members.

On a regular basis first aid courses are held to provide self reliability and confidence.

We built a small health clinic at Wahat farm.

At the end of the second phase 100% of our permanent employees at Wahat are covered by the health insurance “Eco Health”.

For the third phase our plans are to include casual labor as well

EDUCATION

We believe that holistic education enhances the unfolding of human potential and encourages people to find their own interests.

Therefore, we started implementing a holistic educational program for the community members.

For illiterate employees we started the “Maho el omia” program which prepares them for the school program. 

During the second phase we started a school at SEKEM guesthouse for 25 students (grade 1 to 7) from the Wahat neighborhood and organized a school bus for them.

At the end of the phase we finished the construction of a new community school building, which was created according to the new carbon-neutral concept.

The new school will be ready for the opening already in the beginning of the third phase.

COMPOST PRODUCTION

“Brown Gold” is an unofficial name for compost – and for a good reason.

Reclaiming desert land with biodynamic agriculture is based on enriching sandy soil with nutrients by adding compost to it.

With organic matter and cow manure mixed, it takes roughly 3 months for compost to be ready to be applied to our fields.

Each hectare of reclaimed desert land requires more than 70 tons of compost just in the first year and over the time the sand turns slowly brown.

For the first 63 hectares we used almost 4.500 tons of compost.

At the second phase a new compost production site was launched in SEKEM Wahat, which is expected to produce up to 12.000 tons of compost annually.

Also, a new experimental project with basalt was launched on one of the pivots.

This experiment researches the ways for more intense CO2 sequestration by addition of basalt to the compost in different proportions and its application for the different crops. 

CROP SORTS

Biodiversity is a must have for a vital and healthy ecosystem, hence, we’re cultivating a diversity of crops on our pivot fields.

In the first phase we started with the cultivation of biodynamic chamomile, peppermint and spearmint.

For the second phase, we planted peanuts, jojoba, moringa, hibiscus and cactus, increased the planting area for herbs.

Besides, for the summer season we covered some pivots with green manure, that protects soil and saves water and compost.

Our plans for the third phase is to increase the production of jojoba and moringa.

SOLAR SYSTEM

Pumping water for the irrigation of plants is energy intensive.

Since SEKEM is aiming to keep all the agricultural activities carbon negative and sees an immense potential in bio-dynamic agriculture to mitigate climate change, the only reasonable solution for the energy supply of our new pivots is obviously solar energy.

Each of our new pivots will be equipped with a solar system that minimizes the CO2 impact of the energy intensive irrigation and thus makes our project – as a whole – carbon negative.

During the second phase we achieved the renewable energy capacity of 1,5 megawatt on the Wahat farm.

It carries the work of pumps and pivots irrigation systems throughout the day.

For the third phase we are planning to go even further and kick off a renewable energy storage project that will make the irrigation systems running on 100% renewable energy even during the night time. 

LAND RECLAMATION

With 96% of arid land in Egypt, fertile land is considered here as a scarce resource.

The only way to achieve self-sufficiency and long term food security for Egypt is to move to the untouched areas in the desert and use the available water resources as efficiently as possible.

At the end of the second phase 315 ha of desert land was cultivated at our farm in Wahat.

With only 300 square meters of arable land per person in Egypt this new reclaimed area can feed more than 10 000 people.

Besides, many other exciting things happened during the second phase of the project.

Biodiversity study was conducted to assess how desert land cultivation changes the species composition and abundance on the Wahat desert farm.

A 3-years “Farm 4 Climate” project for smart governance and operational models for agroecological carbon farming was launched.

New trees were planted, which total number at the moment is equal to 300 000. 

For the upcoming third phase we are looking forward to activating the Ecosystem Research Center in collaboration with “Common land” and “4 Returns” framework.

PIVOTS

A pivot irrigation system is able to water 20 ha of land with a reduced energy input.

It uses only a fraction of the water in comparison to the common irrigation techniques used here in Egypt. 

In the second phase we installed new pivot systems to irrigate more land and expand the project for a bigger territory and at the moment the number of pivots is equal to 10.

For the third phase we are planning to reclaim 4 more pivots.

Phase two is completed!

We’re very thankful for the tremendous support.

Started: 01.02.20 – Finished: 30.07.22

Funding raised

Supporters

reclaimed desert land

Pivots

solar water pumps

Turn the desert into fertile land

News

Update #11

Update #11

Renewable Energies in Wahat  On our desert farm in Wahat El-Bahareyya, we are currently reclaiming...

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Update #8

Update #8

Chamomile: Meanwhile, blooming Chamomile covers the field of our second Pivot as far as eyes can...

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Update # 10

Update # 10

6 pivots in total are installed  Thanks to our valuable supporters, we were able to install the...

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Update #7

Update #7

  The Future of Greening The Desert - 100% of our funding goal achieved Today we can...

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Update #9

Update #9

53% of the second phase acheived Thanks to the great support of many people from all over the...

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Location

SEKEM Wahat Project
Al Wahat Al Baharia Desert, Al-Dschiza

28°15’13.7″N / 29°06’32.3″E

 

Location

SEKEM Wahat Project
Al Wahat Al Baharia Desert, Al-Dschiza

28°15’13.7″N / 29°06’32.3″E