The NIle River surrounded by the extremely fertile land
The NIle River surrounded by the extremely fertile land
Current Events Along the Nile

By Bobby Bethke


For thousands of years, the Nile river has been a universal symbol of Egypt. The Greek philosopher, Herodotus, even went as far to say that "Egypt is the gift of the Nile." This may not make sense, but it is completely true. The Nile, stretching 6,671 kilometers long, is the longest river in the world and is one of the only rivers to flow north. It has served as the heart of Egypt's economy and tourism. Without it, the entire Egyptian society might never have existed.

The Aswan High Dam
The Aswan High Dam

However, the Nile used to be one of the biggest problems of the country. Before the Aswan High Dam was built in 1971, the Nile would flood every year. During the flood, structures would be ruined around the river, but after, when all the water had cleared, there would be extremely fertile land around the river, particularly at the delta. The ancient Egyptians thought of this as a gift from the gods, but current Egyptians were tired of putting up with it. So they constructed the Aswan High Dam, which allowed them to live in peace around the river. Now, 95% of Egyptian civilians live within 12 miles of the
A mosquito, a vector of malaria, a disease rampant along the Nile
A mosquito, a vector of malaria, a disease rampant along the Nile

Nile.

Through the years, the dam has generated several problems. Foremost of these is the soil. When the river flooded, it left the soil perfect for farming. Now that the river no longer floods, the available soil level is slowly constricting. As the river narrows, less water goes into it each year. Furthermore, farmers must add tons and tons of artificial fertilizers to the soil so that they can use it. Currently, more than half of all Egyptian soil around the Nile is low quality, which is detrimental to the economy. Also, due to the change in water flow from the dam, fishing has become more difficult in the surrounding seas, even the Mediterranean. The lack of water flow has led to parasites spreading diseases more widely than before the dam was built.

The current Egyptian economy, like the rest of the world, is bad. Unemployment has risen a percent from 2008 to 2009, and is still rising. The government used $2.7 billion in their own stimulus package, and is expected to use more. Poverty is spreading more and more, and almost everything that can go wrong is going that way. However, before the global slide, Egypt's economy was experiencing great growth up until the past few years.

Even though the economy may be bad, there are still ways to have fun along the Nile. For example, as of 1995, you can take a rafting trip down a thirty kilometer section of the NIle located in Uganda that has several grade five rapids, the highest you can go commercially, and bunches of others.
A boat full of rafters going down the Nile
A boat full of rafters going down the Nile






Questions:
How many people die each year in Egypt due to parasitic diseases?

In your opinion, was the Aswan High Dam a good or bad diea?

Would ancient Egypt ever have existed without the Nile, or is the river to integral to its sucess?

Do you think that the Aswan High Dam will or should ever be taken down?

What would a good path be to help re-fertilize the Egyptian soil?

Are people who live closer to the Nile more likely to die?





Sources:
http://lexicorient.com/e.o/nile.htm
http://www.touregypt.net/egypt-info/magazine-mag05012001-magf4a.htm
http://www.raftafrica.com/
http://geography.about.com/od/specificplacesofinterest/a/nile.htm
http://cedb.asce.org/cgi/WWWdisplay.cgi?49726

Image Sources:
http://www.topnews.in/files/Nile-river3.jpg
http://sitemaker.umich.edu/sec004_gp5/files/highaswan.jpg
http://www.specialtyinterests.net/map_nile2nubia.JPG
http://acaciacanada.com/wp-content/uploads/HLIC/9e1d8c57b84737fa7daf963cb2b03a7d.jpg
Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0vzP_RAliU