Environmental issues in Egypt | Wikipedia audio article

Egypt’s environmental problems include, but
are not limited to, water scarcity, air pollution, damage to historic monuments, and animal welfare
issues.==Pollution=====Air Pollution===The air pollution in Cairo is a matter of
a serious concern. The air quality in downtown Cairo is more
than 10 to 100 times of acceptable world standards. Cairo has a very poor factor because of lack
of rain and its layout of tall buildings and narrow streets, which create a bowl effect
(bad ventilation and consequent trapping of pollutants). The main air pollution problem in Egypt is
the particulate matter. The most notable sources of the dust and small
particles are transportation, industry and open-air waste-burning. Another significant source is not the wind
blown from arid areas around Egypt (e.g. Western Desert). The air in Egypt is very thick, gray and there
is a haze over Cairo. Furthermore, other forms of air pollution
in a carbon monoxide (CO) in streets, due to the excess amount of cars’ exhaust and
factories pollutants. The sky is gray rather than blue, which is
very similar to the gray skies in Mexico City, London, and Beijing pollutants, of course,
create a lot of respiratory diseases as the United States Environmental Protection Agency
has published risk data which state that above the safe limit, the risk of developing serious
respiratory diseases and cancer from inhaling particulates in the air (dust & soot, hydrocarbons,
and heavy metal compounds) is: 2 people for every 1000.===Noise pollution===From blaring car horns to wedding parties,
rising noise pollution in the 24-hour metropolis of Cairo has reached alarming levels, leading
to health problems. Living in the city centre, where noise levels
reach an average of 90 decibels (dB) and never drop below 70 dB, is like spending all day
inside a factory, a 2007 study by the Egyptian National Research Centre (NRC) said “What’s
striking about Cairo is that noise levels on different streets at different times of
day are well over limits set by the environmental protection agency (EPA)”. Noise pollution can contribute to many health
Pollution damage===Air and water pollution in Cairo have a destructive
effect on the many monuments in the city. The Sultan Al-Ghuri Complex, for example,
is one of many buildings in the center of the city which is covered in a gray and black
crust from the air pollution. Al-Ghuri is representative of issues of decay
of historic buildings in Cairo, both because it is an important medieval site including
a funerary complex and mosque, and because the encrustation that appears on it has been
studied in detail. Other sites examined in detail in the Greater
Cairo area include the pyramids at Giza, Bab Zuweila, Al-Azhar Mosque, and the Cairo Citadel.The
black crust appears on the top parts of outside walls of monuments and other places of cultural
and historical importance as a result of combustion of carbonaceous gases in an environment of
rising humidity. In addition, white crusts and efflorescences
appear on the lower sections of these walls. White crusts are formed by halite, or rock
salt, depositions because of an increase in soil salinity. The rising, salt-loaded water table in the
Nile Delta, where Cairo is located, deposits salts in foundation stones of monuments that
rise up buildings through capillary action and are left behind as the water evaporates. The water table is rising throughout Egypt
for a variety of reasons. These include sewage leakage and infiltration,
factory or agricultural runoff, and inadequate groundwater pumping.Buildings made of limestone
like Al-Ghuri are susceptible to erosion by pollution because the crust that forms disrupts
the integrity of the stone and falls off, removing the outer surface of the building
with it. Many sites from the early Islamic era are
falling into disrepair because of salt deposition from air and groundwater pollution as well
as other destructive phenomena, and a major rescue effort is currently unfeasible because
of the political and economic climate of Egypt. Salty and wet environments also lead to microbial
growth. Without regular cleaning, historic buildings
made of limestone, because of their high porosity, will continue to decay as a result of biological
colonization.==Encroachment of water==
Sea levels are another environmental problem faced by those charged with protecting Egypt’s
archaeological sites. The city of Rosetta, nearby which the Rosetta
Stone was found, for example, is on the Mediterranean coast and will be underwater in a matter of
decades unless climate change is addressed on a global scale. Abu Mena, an Early Christian site designated
as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, is one place in imminent danger of destruction. Efforts to reclaim land for agricultural use
in the past few decades have waterlogged the usually dry and brittle clay that supports
the buildings at Abu Mena.According to UNESCO, “The destruction of numerous cisterns, disseminated
around the city, has entailed the collapse of several overlying structures. Huge underground cavities have opened in the
north-western region of the town. The risk of collapse is so high that the authorities
were forced to fill with sand the bases of some of the most endangered buildings, including
the crypt of Abu Mena with the tomb of the Saint, and close them to the public.” Egypt has faced similar issues in the past,
with the damming of the Nile at Aswan. The creation of Lake Nasser to control the
flow of the Nile through Lower Egypt and create hydroelectricity meant the flooding of sites
like Abu Simbel. Abu Simbel is a monument to Ramses II built
of sandstone, and comprises two temples to gods of the Ancient Egyptian pantheon. Emergency archaeological digs and projects
were conducted to retrieve as much as possible from these sites that have been so well preserved
by the arid climate. Abu Simbel itself was cut into pieces and
moved to a cliff face above the new water level of the Nile above the dam. It now stands 60 meters above where it originally
stood, on a cliff overlooking Lake Nasser.Another well-known monument moved during the rescue
mission was the temple complex at Philae, a Greco-Roman site that was originally a temple
to the Ancient Egyptian goddess Isis, now located on the island of Agilkia. Some monuments were given to foreign museums
for their aid in preserving sites flooded by Lake Nasser. Four such monuments were the Temple of Debod,
now in the Parque del Oeste in Madrid, Spain, the Temple of Ellesyia which is now in Italy,
the Temple of Taffeh now housed in the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden, the Netherlands, and
the Temple of Dendur which is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. One of the largest environmental pressures
on Abu Simbel is tourism and its associated issues. Landscaping conducted in order to make the
site seem more presentable in its new clifftop home has damaged the delicate sandstone rock
face. Landscapers brought in sand, which blew in
the wind and almost eroded a face of Nefertari on the temple, one of the wives of Ramses
II. In an attempt to solve this problem, grass
was planted around the base of the temples. Watering the grass also damaged the site by
raising the humidity levels in the sandstone. People are often careless at archaeological
sites, brushing up against ancient wall paintings and climbing onto parts of monuments to capture
photographs.Tourists have caused damage to other sites in Egypt, such as the Great Pyramid
of Cheops. Much like the limestone monuments inside the
city of Cairo proper, the limestone pyramids at Giza are susceptible to changes in humidity
and salinity. The breath of tourists inside the chambers
creates salt encrustations that crack the interior walls of the pyramids. The pyramids are constantly undergoing repairs
to clean salt from the walls in an attempt to prevent further damage. Ventilation systems have been installed inside
the Great Pyramid and in other structures on the Giza Plateau in order to lessen the
impact of tourists’ breath.Another problem that tourism brings is graffiti. Graffiti has been left in the chambers of
the pyramids since they were being built over 4,000 years ago when workers building the
pyramids left their mark on the walls. However, more recent graffiti at the Giza
necropolis has damaged sites. Monuments often must be closed and renovated
to remove marks made by modern visitors. In 2013, a Chinese tourist carved his name
into a wall of the Luxor Temple, in the south of Egypt, causing widespread outrage and igniting
an international discussion about tourists and graffiti in general.===Development===Tourism as well as urban sprawl have contributed
to the degradation of sites, especially in the Greater Cairo area. The Ring Road, provided for in the Master
Plan for Greater Cairo passed in 1984, has been the biggest developmental threat to the
monuments on the Giza Plateau in the last quarter century. The road was intended to relieve traffic pressure
on the city of Cairo. It was discovered to be cutting through several
protected areas on the plateau, which is the site of the pyramids, the Sphinx, and other
lesser-known monuments.In protest of the planned southern route of the Ring Road, which would
encompass the necropolis, UNESCO removed the pyramids from the World Heritage list to pressure
the Egyptian government into changing the plans for the road. The shame and loss of funding resulting from
this sanction forced the government to rethink the route of the highway, and the pyramids
have since regained their standing as a World Heritage Site.The city of Cairo has been encroaching
on the Giza plateau for decades. The population has exploded so much that there
are now apartments only a few hundred yards away from the pyramids. Suburban development, golf courses, and fast
food chains now come much closer to the Sphinx and the pyramids than is legal according to
UNESCO spokesman Said Zulficar. “You can’t chop up this site just as if it’s
salami,” said Said, “It will lose its uniqueness… It’s in total violation of the world heritage
convention [Egypt] signed, and it’s in violation of Egyptian law.”==
Urbanization==Egypt is the most populated country in the
Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) with over 96 million inhabitants. Since the majority of Egypt’s geography consists
of expansive desert, 43.1% of citizens live in urban areas along the Nile or Mediterranean
Sea, such as Cairo, Alexandria, or Aswan. Cairo is not only the largest city in the
Arab World, with a population 12.3 million, but is also one of the densest. The governate of Cairo was reported to have
an urban population density of 45,000 per square kilometer (117,000 per sq mi) in 2012
(CAPMAS). This is 1.5 times the density of Manhattan. A report from United Arab Emirates University
states, “This pattern of urban growth has two contradictory facets. On the one hand, mega-cities act as engines
of economic and social growth, but on the other hand, most of this is also being accompanied
by the urbanization of both poverty and environmental degradation.” Much of government policy has focused on population
density as the main contributor to a multitude of social, economic, and environmental challenges
such as noise and air pollution, heavy traffic, limited housing capacity, and poor public
health.Cairo’s government officials have been making efforts to decentralize living and
working arrangements since 1970 as a way to improve quality of life. Rather than focusing on improving infrastructure
within the city, many of the proposed solutions involve moving residents into recently constructed
metropolitan areas in the desert. This tactic has introduced many of its own
issues such as interference with agricultural practices and increasingly limited water access. Former President Mubarak emphasized the necessity
of desert expansion in a speech to parliament in 2006, stating, “Leaving the narrow (Nile)
valley and fanning out, in a planned and organized manner, throughout the country, has become
an unavoidable necessity. In view of these facts, the conquest of the
desert is no longer a slogan or dream but a necessity dictated by the spiraling population
growth. What is required is not a token exodus into
the desert but a complete reconsideration of the distribution of population throughout
the country.”City planners have proposed the construction of megacities, built from the
ground up, to diffuse populations out of Cairo. New Cairo and 6th of October City are brand
new subdivisions built to hold millions by 2020 and hold major headquarters currently
housed in Cairo. These planned cities are still under construction
but are already home to large industrial areas and several universities. Most recently, the Egyptian government has
proposed the construction of an entirely new capital city. However, reports show that these tactics have
had limited success and a different approach is necessary in order to alleviate the impact
of many urban problems.===Traffic===The greater metropolitan area of Cairo is
notorious for its extreme levels of traffic congestion. The World Bank reports at least 1,000 deaths
annually as a result of traffic related accidents, half of which are pedestrians. While an additional 4,000 Cairenes are injured
from car accidents. Other urban areas, such as New York City,
report less than 300 fatalities yearly from motor vehicle accidents. The traffic has grown to be damaging not only
to public safety, but also economic growth. With an average traffic speed less than 10
kilometers per hour and an average commute time at 37 minutes, the congestion has grown
to limit the city’s productivity and efficiency. This has had significant economic effects,
costing the country $8 billion annually, equivalent to almost 4% of Egypt’s gross domestic product
(GDP), resulting from lost work hours, wasted fuel, and the environmental impacts of those
additional emissions.The high number of cars on the road is the result of many factors
such as government subsidies on fuel, limited public transportation options, and enhanced
credit opportunities from banks. In 2012, The Central Agency for Public Mobilization
and Statistics (CAPMAS) reported 2.07 million licensed vehicles in Cairo. Attempts to reduce traffic congestion have
increased in the last several years. Many government workers and urban planning
experts believe in developing more efficient public transportation systems as a means to
mitigate the effects of private cars. The Cairo Metro currently only runs three
lines for the city’s 7 million people. Christian Bauriedel, a professor at the American
University in Cairo claims that the addition of 10 to 15 new metro lines and 200 new bus
lanes has the potential to reduce traffic by 40%. A fourth line is scheduled to be built by
2019, however work has yet to begin. Another proposed solution has been the creation
of pedestrian tunnels underneath the city to ensure citizen’s safety while crossing
roads.===A New Capital City===On March 13, 2015, Housing Minister Mostafa
Madbouly announced Egypt’s plans for a $45 billion project constructing a new capital
city just east of Cairo. The new city, which is currently unnamed,
is estimated to take only five to seven years to complete and house up to seven million
people. Madbouly reported the goal of the project
to be a major reduction in the congestion and population of Cairo, which is expected
to double over the next 40 years. The city’s brand new website describes the
development as “a momentous endeavour to build national spirit, foster consensus, provide
for long-term sustainable growth and address various issues faced by Egypt through a new
city, which will create more places to live, work and visit”.The plans have received skepticism
for being fairly ambitious, boasting new administrative and government buildings, an international
airport, a technology and innovation park, solar energy farms, eighteen hospitals, and
thousands of schools and universities. The situation was complicated further when
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi cancelled the project a month after its unveiling due to
a lack of government funds. However, Madbouly stated that the project
will continue with funding from the private sector.===Green Spaces===
As a Valentine’s Day of Cairo’s ever-growing urbanization, the components that enhance
the city’s livability have diminished. Incredible levels of traffic combined with
severe air and sound pollution place a major hindrance on Cairenes’ quality of living. The lack of urban green space is yet another
one of these factors. Cairo currently only has about 1.65 square
meters of green space per capita. This is low considering the World Health Organization
(WHO) suggests a minimum of nine square meters per person, with the optimal amount being
between ten and fifteen square meters. The presence of these spaces has been reported
to reduce air pollution while incentivizing physical exercise, fresh food production and
improved mental health.Cairo’s minimal green space is surprising when considering the city’s
history of parks and landscaping. The capital was founded around a bustan, a
modern-day park, and has since been filled with many different kinds of open spaces,
such as basatin and mayadin. However, these open spaces with parks and
gardens offered ideal locations for development and have since been considered attractive
targets for profitable real estate.Today, Cairo’s low quantity of parks has only been
worsened by rapid increases in development and a lack of urban planning. Where green spaces do exist, they are poorly
distributed and inadequately maintained. While some residents are hopeful that the
establishment and development of satellite cities will improve conditions in Cairo, others
are not as optimistic and foresee further neglect of green spaces in the future.==Legislative power over land and water=====
Egyptian Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs===
The Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency is the highest authority in Egypt for promoting
and protecting the environment. It is also secondary to bigger ministries
in Egypt like that of Petroleum, Industry or Finance. In 1997, Egypt’s first full-time Minister
of State for Environmental Affairs was assigned to deal with environmental policies for sustainable
development. The Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs
(MSEA) and its executive arm, the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) considers
the management of natural resources to all of Egypt’s national policies and projects. The main objective is to preserve natural
resources, biological diversity and national heritage in relation to sustainable development. Environmental Protection Agency scientists
signed an agreement with counterparts in Egypt to protect human consumption from microbiological
contamination in drinking water.Rural inequality is an issue in Egypt’s agricultural development. Central government policies and wealth have
been a core political issue concerning the relationship between rural population and
state. International development, similar to the
Grand Renaissance dam, is debated over proper management of resources. Timothy Mitchell, a political scientist of
the Arab world, suggests that a solution may be to “decentralize the state and allow for
some of the powers in Egypt’s market to be reconfigured”. In this way, Egypt can counteract agricultural
differences based on management of the Nile which is a shared agricultural source for
most of the 9 countries dependent on its natural resources.===The Grand Renaissance Dam issue===Egyptian nationalists have denounced Ethiopia’s
new project, The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The Great Renaissance Dam will be Africa’s
largest hydroelectric facility. The construction of the dam will affect Sudan
and Egypt’s political relations with Ethiopia. In 1959 Egypt and Sudan made an agreement
that allowed Egypt to have 70% of the Nile’s water flow while Sudan had 30 percent. In 2013 protestors gathered in front of Ethiopian
embassy in Cairo, as then Morsi administration allowed for the project to proceed. Egyptian administrations have attempted military
solutions to halt the project, but the Egyptian government at the time did not pursue.The
Italian Salini (Salini Impregilo) Company is building the Renaissance Dam after signing
a contract with the Ethiopian government in December 2010 worth $4.65 billion to be completed
in six years. Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation
visited Italy to explain the country’s water security. Egypt is continuing international influence
to protect their share of the Nile waters, as well as contacting international donors,
the World Bank and the African Development Bank to not give technical support for the
construction of the dam in order to halt any damage to Egypt. Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn
declared that Ethiopia would not back down from building the Renaissance dam. There was no clear agreement made by water
ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. Egypt planned to send foreign experts to follow
on how to implement experts’ reports on behalf of building the dam first. Egypt’s influence to propose a halt on the
Dam is at difficult transition. On April 13, 2014, Ethiopia’s National Panel
of Experts faced controversy with the International Rivers Network. The IRN, an anti-dam organization founded
in 1985, criticized the Renaissance Dam’s construction. The U.S. based environmental organization
was accused of “being paid by Egypt in order to lobby against the Renaissance Dam”. The main issue results in the debate about
whether Egypt will be harmed, in terms of its water resources and population and the
IRN is seeking to prevent international aid to Ethiopia’s project. The creation of Grand Renaissance Dam would
not affect Egypt’s share of Nile as it is not constructed for irrigation but rather
hydroelectricity. Water may be lost from evaporation but Egypt
and Sudan will benefit from the dam due to the trapped sediments that would otherwise
flow downstream prolonging lives of major reservoirs in both countries. Egypt has attempted to gain support in order
to halt construction of the dam. As of April 25, 2014 Ethiopia has completed
32% of the Grand Renaissance Dam.====Overview of Sudan and Egypt water relations
====The 1929 Agreement between Egypt and Sudan
allowed Egypt to have more control over the entire flow of the river. However, when Sudan gained independence in
1956 there was demand for revision of the treatment. An agreement in 1959 allowed for 55.5 billion
cubic meters of water to go to Egypt and 18.5 billion cubic meets to Sudan. Sudan has fertile land where expanded irrigation
could be profitable. Sudan had tried to increase water supplies
by draining the Sudd wetlands of the south. Sudan had faced a failed project, Jonglei
Canal in 1984.====Tension with Saudi Arabia====
Egypt has sought Saudi aid on halting the construction of the Renaissance Dam. Currently, Saudi Arabia invests in economic
development projects based in Ethiopia. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
have offered financial aid packages, approximately $10.7 billion, to the Egyptian government
after the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood. The significance of Egypt and Saudi Arabi’s
relationship could either be beneficial for Egypt’s goals in stopping the construction
of the dam or prove otherwise.==Egypt’s hydropolitics==Egypt is part of the Nile Basin alongside
Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic
of Congo. The allocation of power over the use of the
Nile has been a source of conflict for years. The Nile is a symbol of Egypt’s nationalism
which has led to strong opposition from neighboring countries. The Nile River provides irrigation, hydroelectricity
and industrialization for Egypt. Egypt claims to support and stress the importance
of water and agricultural projects in order to preserve its environment and allow for
the Nile to develop an abundance of resources. Egypt has once threatened to go to war over
water conflict against Ethiopia and Tanzania in the past.Regarding Egypt’s current water
conflicts, one current and controversial water issue is Egypt’s current stance against the
construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The Dam proposed by Ethiopia is an engineered
gravity dam on the Blue Nile that will be one of the biggest water projects near the
region. The issue then for Egypt, among other countries
in the Nile Basin, is whether this project will decrease water flow in the Nile. The Nile Basin Initiative, Egypt’s civil society,
and foreign relations are a few of the main contributors to the historical and social
framework Egypt’s hydro-politics and environmental concerns.===Egypt’s hydro political framework===
Nile Basin Initiative An initiative that mediates the Nile Basin
for all countries that share the river in order to share socioeconomic benefits of the
Nile and the promotion of regional peace and security. Environment’s Civil Society
Egyptians are active on land rights and land reforms. The 1997 repeal of Nasser-era land reforms
policies and the Land Center for Human Rights were some of the changes of Egypt’s environmental
political activism. In Sinai, Egypt the lack of land reforms to
stabilize the security crisis in Sinai by Mohamed Morsi, Hosni Mubarak and Abdel Fattah
el-Sisi. Environmental foreign relations in Egypt
Egypt has had a significant role to play in mediating conflicts of Arab States and East
African states. Egypt was a mediator in resolving disputes
between Arab states. Sudan and Egypt relations are weak; presently
is a territorial dispute with Sudan over the Hala’ib Triangle. However, both countries are in agreement with
the issue of water access and water rights on behalf of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance
Dam.==Egypt’s water resource projects in the
Upper Nile==When looking at Egypt’s participation in water
projects that promote economic and agricultural growth in the region and beyond, it is necessary
to see the impact that Egypt has had in its own country and its participation with foreign
relations. These are some projects in which Egypt has
tried to utilize the Nile and nearby rivers. The Charter of Integration between Egypt and
Sudan: The Jonglei Canal project in Bahr al-Jabal
and Bahr az-Zaraf Area was constructed to prevent waste of water, approximately 15 billion
cubic meters, due to evaporation in swamp areas. The Mashar Swamps project was created to collect
lost water from Mashar swamps and Sobat River. The Northern Bahr al-Ghazal project was constructed
to combat the loss of intensive evaporation. The project was constructed by digging a canal
in order to collect and channel water from the northern part of Bahr al-Ghazal with the
White Nile. The Southern Bahr al-Ghazal project was constructed
so that the river waters from Bahr al-Ghazal would flow east towards Bahr al-Jabal.===Additional Egyptian projects===Along with the projects made between Sudan
and Egypt; Egypt has considered storage projects in equatorial lakes: Lake Victoria, Lake Kyoga,
Lake Albert. Egypt is in participation with Ethiopia and
Uganda in some projects and establishing power generation stations. Egypt financed several contributions made
to water conservation: the assessment of available water resources, climate change, drought,
Basin’s water quality, and water planning. Egypt has constructed over the course of its
history several other projects, namely: Mahmoudiyah canal, Suez Canal, Aswan Dam, Toshka (otherwise
known as the New Valley Project). The Aswan Dam was constructed as Egypt’s main
source of yielding electric power.The New Valley Project was designed as a second Nile
Valley located in the south of Egypt’s Western Desert. The East Owainat Project is another development
project in the southern valley of Egypt which is irrigated by a nearby groundwater reservoir. The purpose of the East Owainat Project is
to export organic crops for the trade of which these are: medicinal herbs, fruits, and various
grains. The As-Salam Canal project is another development
project that has a great impact on surrounding cultivated area with that of the Nile water
and agricultural drainage water. The project Al-Ein Es-Sokhna New Port is located
near the Suez Gulf and is a 4 km canal that connects the passage route of the Suez Canal
to the Al-Ein Es-Sokhna New Port that has 4 basins that accommodate ships. These projects have contributed to water engineering,
conservation, and distribution in Egypt and surrounding areas.==The importance of Water Resources for Egypt
==The Nile River has allowed for the summation
of natural resources. This affects Egyptians through the course
of agricultural lands and irrigation systems. In addition to this, Egypt has an expanding
population and limited resources. Although, countries like that of Western Europe,
Japan and North America have higher demands on world resources. As a result, Egyptians have less land to farm,
however, produce more crops per person than Thailand or the Philippines. The management of the Nile is important for
economic growth in Egypt.As a result, the effect has been that of an economic issue
between various agents, both human and nonhuman agents. With the opening of natural resources and
technological advancements through development projects in Egypt, it has historically created
a range of feedback from Egyptians. Among these agricultural projects, the construction
of villages were created to provide for the irrigation strategies following from that
of Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt as a means of strengthening Egypt’s economy at the height
of its capitalist endeavors during the British occupation.As the movement of economic growth
through a market that had difficulty measuring import and export of capital through, not
only foreign trade but within Egypt’s borders. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces have
affected Egyptians during Egypt’s revolutionary years. Starting from the Egyptian Revolution of 2011
environmental issues have increased by an array of actors taking a variety of direct
actions in the public sphere.There has been an intense social protest in Egypt and increased
demand for access to resources such as agricultural land. Presently Egypt’s uncertainty with Ethiopia’s
project is correlated with an economic interest in that agricultural land will be affected
when rising natural resource shortages are at a high. Egypt depends on fruit cultivated land that
is found across the Nile and has sustained Egypt’s agriculture for more than 5,000 years. Egypt’s fresh water is mainly derived from
underground water. Underground water results in 95% of Egyptian’s
desert land. Egypt is also dependent on rainwater but it
is a scarce and limiting source for agricultural development. In addition, Egypt refuses agricultural drainage
water in correlation with Nile water for irrigation.The importance of dams for Egyptians is exponential. The High Dam placed a halt on annual flooding
of the Nile and allowed for extended sugarcane cultivation albeit the growing of wheat was
displaced. The Nile floods provided brick making and
house building labor. Mud became less available from the High Dam. The Nile allowed for 124 million tons of sediment
to be carried to the sea each year and after the creation of the dam 98% of that sediment
fell under the dam.Environmentally, the Aswan Dam has contributed to numerous issues for
Egyptians. The expansion of desert areas since the Aswan
High Dam’s construction in 1970 has increased in soil salinity which allowed for waterborne
diseases to emerge. In 1994, 28% of Egypt’s soils were damaged
by significant levels of salinity. The importance of water resources for Egyptians
has contributed to the creation of agencies, such as the Egyptian Ministry of State for
Environmental Affairs, that promote and protect Egypt’s natural resources.==See also==
Animal welfare in Egypt Economy of Egypt and the environment

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