Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Egypt turns the desert green

Egypt turns the desert green

You live in a country where 95 percent of people are packed into just one valley. The population grows by about 1.5 million people per year. The unemployment is high and housing is scarce. Agricultural land in the valley is disappearing. Beyond this valley, just a wide silent sandy space: the desert. What do you do?
In Egypt, they thought the best solution was to turn the desert green and move people there from Cairo, giving them houses and new land to farm. It may seem a science fiction idea but they’re really working on it. Since the fifties, they’ve been building a network of pumps that takes the water from the Nile basin to the surrounding desert. They also found a groundwater aquifer beneath the desert floor and they started to exploit it.
This is the desert development plan. The Government claims that in the last decade 400,000 hectares have been "reclaimed" from the desert and that things are going to get even better thanks to new infratructres and technologies Egypt will have at his disposal.
There are many criticisms, of course. Scientists say this may not be the best use for the few water we’ve left. Also, the plan may bring to some tensions over water control with other African nations from the Nile basins. Others simply observes that anyways “the desert will never be the ideal place to farm”. How to blame them?


Ebira said...

hi there, fernando..

i like your blog, you do so well

all the best

P.S. you've changed ya pic, earlier one was too good that half face lol,

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