In Egypt a system of underground pipes and canals takes water from the Nile river to change the desert into arable land (95% of Egypt is desert). A prime example is the Toshka Valley project. The population of Egypt has increased from 20 million to 70 million in the last twenty years, and it is predicted that the figure will reach 120 million in the next twenty years. The idea of bringing water inland from the Nile appears to have been a great success.
However, the countries upstream do not possess the same technological advancements as Egypt and observe those developments with resentment. (Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania are all involved.) Ethiopia receives almost no water in the form of rain but has to rely on the river to provide it and, as a result, the government of that country has suggested that THE NEXT LARGE-SCALE WAR WILL BE WAGED OVER WATER.
9 million people in Ethiopia depend on “food-aid” for their survival, as the country suffers from drought almost every year.
Will these countries arrive at a conflict or a compromise? All interested parties can contact this Forum and contribute their ideas.
Information on the River Nile can be found on the following website.
(Tue, 22 Feb 2005, 11:34 – John C. Jones)