Back in Cairo! In order to get a press accreditation for a field visit with the Ministry of Water in the next days, we went to the Ministry of Information this evening, located in the same building as the (former?) Egyptian state television. The building straddles the east bank of the Nile, next to the burnt-out former party centre of Mubarak`s NDP in central Cairo.
Abdel Geber Regab is 42, but he looks at least ten years older. He lives in Beni Achmed, a village along the Nile, three hours south of Cairo. Life is hard here, and working the land is even harder. ‘Of course my back hurts! Every farmer has problems with his back, but we are used to it. We have been farmers since Pharaonic times.’
Sudan, Ethiopia, Ruanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo: not only Egypt wants Nile water. Since the moment that -except for Egypt and Sudan- all other countries mentioned above started the so-called Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) in 2009, politicians in Egypt and Sudan have been in a state of alarm.
Normally, it would be easy to understand Mrs. Basilios Farag, one of the owners of the Mirhom Farag Farm, northeast of Cairo, but not today; especially not now. It’s Friday afternoon, and the muezzin is calling for prayers in the nearby village. ‘I think their loudspeakers are really too noisy’, says Basilios.
‘In the beginning, we slept in tents, because there was nothing here, just desert´, tells Dr. Mohamed Waeed, manager of the livestock division of DINA farm, along the Desert Road between Cairo and Alexandria. Desert really means desert here: we’re talking about real, yellow sand. And when Dr. Waeed talks about the beginning, he talks about 1987. It’s almost unbelievable how fast this part of Egypt has developed since then. Residential areas, farm land and an eight-lane highway now occupy the desert northwest of Cairo.
Cairo, March 16th, 2011 – I just arrived in Cairo, this massive city on the longest river in the world: the Nile, with a length of 6700 kilometres. During my flights from Berlin to Istanbul and then onwards to Cairo, I scanned through a great book: ‘When the rivers run dry’ by Fred Pearce. Just […]
The western part of the USA has 19th century water legislation, 20th century infrastructure and 21st century problems in terms of climate change, population growth and other environmental stresses. This is a saying you hear a lot when you talk to people about the Colorado River. Needless to say: something’s wrong here.
‘It’s not safe’, warned us Jennifer McCloskey, Area Manager at the Yuma Desalination Plant (YDP), located right at the border between the USA and Mexico. Although nobody is robbing us or shooting at us, we understand what she means after a few hundred metres along the US-Mexican border: the first border patrol car we see pulls us over.
The Huala-who? The Hualapai, meaning people of the tall pines, are native people of the Southwest of the USA. Once a proud people, nowadays there are only few of them left. Their ‘capital’ is in Peach Springs, a small settlement on the famous route 66. The Hualapai tribe only counts 2100 people nowadays. They live in a vast reservation of about one million acres, on the southern rim of the Grand Canyon that was created in 1883. After decades of economic and social hardship, the Hualapai decided to enter the tourist trade in 1988.
The Colorado river is fed by melting snow water from the peaks of the Rocky Mountains. One of its many tributaries, the Gunnison river, has its source near Crested Butte, a pristine mountain resort high in the Rockies, close to the well-known ski resort Aspen.