Visit our new website: worldnews.easybranches.com

Egypt’s fertile Nile Delta threatened by climate change

  • Fri, 07 Dec 2018 13:17
Author: 
Aziz El Massassi | AFP
ID: 
1544153410010199600
Fri, 2018-12-07 03:05

KAFR AL-DAWAR, Egypt: Lush green fields blanket northern Egypt’s Nile Delta, but the country’s agricultural heartland and its vital freshwater resources are under threat from a warming climate.
The fertile arc-shaped basin is home to nearly half the country’s population, and the river that feeds it provides Egypt with 90 percent of its water needs.
But climbing temperatures and drought are drying up the mighty Nile — a problem compounded by rising seas and soil salinization, experts and farmers say.
Combined, they could jeopardize crops in the Arab world’s most populous country, where the food needs of its 98 million residents are only expected to increase.
“The Nile is shrinking. The water doesn’t reach us anymore,” says Talaat El-Sisi, a farmer who has grown wheat, corn and other crops for 30 years in the southern Delta governorate of Menoufia.
“We’ve been forced to tap into the groundwater and we’ve stopped growing rice,” a cereal known for its greedy water consumption, he adds.
By 2050, the region could lose up to 15 percent of its key agricultural land due to salinization, according to a 2016 study published by Egyptian economists.
The yield of tomato crops could drop by 50 percent, the study said, with staple cereals like wheat and rice falling 18 and 11 percent respectively.
In Kafr Al-Dawar in the delta’s north, Egypt’s irrigation ministry and the United Nations are working on eco-friendly techniques like solar-powered watering that experts say emit less greenhouse gases and could help improve crop yields.
On site, two farmers wearing traditional galabiya gowns show off shiny new solar panels framed by row after row of corn, barley and wheat.
Sayed Soliman, eyes bright and cane in hand, runs a group of about 100 farmers who work a plot of more than 100 hectares (around 250 acres).
The seasoned farmer is delighted. He can now power the pumps that water his field without relying on Egypt’s faulty electricity grid and expensive fossil fuels like diesel that are responsible for climate change.
Diesel-powered generators are now only used “when necessary,” he says, such as after sunset.
After his success, a neighboring village is also switching to solar-powered irrigation.
“One of the priorities is innovation... so that Egypt can make the most of its water,” says Hussein Gadain, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative in Egypt.
“The delta plays an important role in the country’s food security.”
Ibrahim Mahmoud, head of the irrigation ministry’s development projects, said plans were in place to modernize watering systems across the country by 2050.
The strategy, he says, is intended to improve farmers’ “environmental conditions, standards of living and productivity.”
But in a country in the tight grip of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the Nile Delta and its resources remain an ultra-sensitive topic.
AFP’s visit to Kafr Al-Dawar was closely supervised by the ministry.
In front of officials, farmers stuck to well-worn talking points about the delta’s bounty but politely skirted questions on water scarcity.
El-Sisi has made the Nile’s water a “life or death issue” for Egypt, particularly in the framework of negotiations with neighboring Sudan, as well as Ethiopia.
Cairo fears Addis Ababa’s controversial Grand Renaissance Dam will bring consequences downstream.
For water management consultant Dalia Gouda, Egypt currently has two priorities when it comes to combatting its water scarcity dilemma: tackling overpopulation and defending the country’s interests against Ethiopia’s dam.
“There are many interesting projects under way to improve water efficiency,” says Gouda.
“Although they are not necessarily designed to combat the effects of climate change, they can only prepare the authorities to deal with them.”

Main category: 
Tags: 
Careem Bus launches in Egypt, KSA and Pakistan to followRetired police general among 5 Egyptians being investigated by Italy in student’s murder Middle-East

Tags


US Weekly

Related Stories

A Single Jump can Change Your Life Completely.
  • Tue, 19 Feb 2019 12:41

A Single Jump can Change Your Life Completely   Sometimes the things we do in life are not 100% successful but we still feel want to continue...

Kashmiri Muslims evicted, threatened after deadly attack on Indian forces
  • Mon, 18 Feb 2019 15:21

Author: ReutersID: 1550454884576171800Sun, 2019-02-17 18:17 SRINAGAR: India has warned against rising communal tensions across the country ...

Seven militants killed, 15 military personnel killed or wounded in clash in Egypt’s North Sinai: Egyptian military
  • Sat, 16 Feb 2019 22:04

Sat, 2019-02-16 12:30 Seven militants killed, 15 military personnel killed or wounded in clash in Egypt’s North Sinai: Egyptian military Developi...

Bloomberg rips Trump for not taking action on climate change
  • Thu, 14 Feb 2019 19:33

Author: By BRIAN SLODYSKO | APID: 1550113292575321700Thu, 2019-02-14 06:34WASHINGTON: Democratic presidential prospect Michael Bloomberg is ...

Young Egyptians Trudge Through Mud to Clean Up Nile
  • Tue, 12 Feb 2019 17:28

Hundreds of young Egyptians, including actress Mai El Gheity, trudged through the mud on the banks of the River Nile to collect tonnes of old plastic ...

Seeking influence, Egypt’s El-Sisi to chair African Union
  • Sun, 10 Feb 2019 06:04

Author: Sat, 2019-02-09 23:06 CAIRO: Nearly six years after the African Union (AU) shut it out in the cold, Egypt will take the organization’s...

Iran opposition group calls for regime change in Paris march
  • Sat, 09 Feb 2019 16:03

Author: Associated PressID: 1549662136461108600Fri, 2019-02-08 20:44 PARIS: Several thousand supporters of an exiled Iranian opposition gro...

Ready to bring down Netanyahu, ex-general stirs hope of change
  • Sat, 09 Feb 2019 09:54

Author: Sat, 2019-02-09 00:16 JERUSALEM: Former military chief Benny Gantz has burst onto Israel’s political scene as the great hope of the co...

Irish PM Varadkar rejects May’s plans to change backstop
  • Thu, 31 Jan 2019 03:57

Author: ReutersID: 1548876123530159000Wed, 2019-01-30 18:46 LONDON: Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told British Prime Minister The...

Palestinian president decides to change his government
  • Mon, 28 Jan 2019 03:48

Author: APID: 1548612902805351100Sun, 2019-01-27 21:56 RAMALLAH: Palestinian officials say President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to shake up ...

El-Sisi’s order to paint Egypt’s ‘uncivilized’ buildings puzzles residents
  • Sat, 26 Jan 2019 06:14

Fri, 2019-01-25 20:40 CAIRO: A decree from Egypt’s president to paint all the country’s red brick buildings in an effort to make the country more...

Japan PM Shinzo Abe uses Davos address to put trade, climate change at center of G20 agenda
  • Thu, 24 Jan 2019 04:14

Author: ReutersID: 1548247611350527700Wed, 2019-01-23 10:44 DAVOS, Switzerland: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday he wil...


الاقسام