Sameh Ghali

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2006
Together assosation


This profile was prepared when Sameh Ghali was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2006.
The New Idea
Sameh works with both men and women in villages and rural areas to build and maintain sewage systems that are appropriate for household size, income-level and village context. His new idea is to introduce a new system of community participation in sanitation design. Sameh is introducing a village-wide sewage system for smaller villages to connect their household septic tanks by gravity-fed pipes to a communal filtering facility. Importantly, this mini-sewage plant can be built and maintained with locally available materials and labor, thereby significantly reducing the cost compared to government-proposed sewage systems and increasing the likelihood that the community will actually develop a system that meets their needs. Sameh is promoting these sewage systems to households in villages who are currently deprived of hygienic living conditions and will not likely be served by government programs in the next decade or two. Sameh invites local communities to actively engage and participate in planning the sanitation systems implemented in their communities. He introduces improved technology after group discussion to determine their needs and preferences. By reducing the pollution of canals and underground water, he improves the environment and health conditions of rural and village populations and establishes a sense of ownership and pride in the community.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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