Welcome to the Middle East Today

The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Apr 7, 2010

Egypt Water Poverty

In the previous post, references were made to Egypt as one of the 18 Arab countries that are classified by the U.N. as poverty stricken states. The U.N. defines water poverty level as 100 cu. met. of water/per person/per year.

Egypt’s level is 700 cu. met./per person/per year. New information, which has been revealed by the Egyptian government, is that Egypt will experience water shortages equal to 15.2 billion cu. met. of water by the year 2017. Furthermore, Egypt is expected to consume 86.2 billion cu. met. of water in 2010. The Nile River will provide only around 71.4 billion cu. met of water. The shortage will come from the underground water reserves. (almasry-alyoum.com 3/23/2010).

The Nile River is the major supplier of water to the 84 million Egyptians based on the 1929 treaty with the Nile River basin countries. The Nile River sources are beyond Egyptian national boundaries. In previous posts, references were made that Egyptian government officials have been meeting with their counterparts from the Nile River basin countries to re-examine and re-evaluated the 1929 Nile River water sharing with Egypt. As of April 2010, no agreement has been reached. Let me remind the readers that without the Nile River flowing through, there will be no more Egypt as we know it. Furthermore, the majority of the Egyptian population is under the illusion that the Nile River provides all the water needed.

Recently, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development and the U.N. and UNICEF sponsored an awareness campaign about the fact that Egypt is facing a critical state of water shortages. The emphasis was placed on better water use and the prevention of water pollution. The U.N. Water Report reflects that Egypt, India and some other countries have entered the yellowish water stage. This means that the Nile River water is already contaminated. Water contamination causes the death of 30-60 people per 1000 population.

The Nile River is unfortunately polluted by industrial and agricultural waste and chemicals that find their way into the above and underground water sources. In addition, the Egyptian public also contributes to the pollution of the Nile River.

The Egyptian population in general is not familiar with their ancient history. The ancient Egyptians viewed the Nile River as religiously sacred and protected it from being polluted. The Nile River was considered the source of their existence. The modern Egyptian population, especially in the rural sector of the society, is a major contributor to the contamination of the Nile River.

It has been reported that nearly 40% of the Egyptian population still lacks the basic sewage and sanitation systems. This situation is a source of contamination. Furthermore, garbage collection has been a major problem in Egypt. Some of that human waste tends to find its way into canals as well as the Nile River. Who is to be blamed for such an environmental disaster? The public, or the government, or both. The preservation and protection of the Nile River is in the interest of all Egyptians. It also should be noted that Egypt is the most important country of the world in terms of its historical antiquities and for the fact that it became the birthplace of human civilization more than 5,000 years ago. Cleanliness and the preservation of the Nile River environment will also enhance tourism, which Egypt also needs.

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