- Posted March 22, 2013 by
World Water Day: There is a Water Crisis in North Africa too
Today is World Water Day
Since the focus on this World Water Day seems to be centered on Africa, I decided to slide the attention compass northward. In Egypt, the use and misuse of water is plain to see. Slums and ghettos outline affluent gated communities all around Cairo. The distribution of water between these communities is striking. Canals and drains filled with garbage and dead animals contrast lush green lawns and swimming pools only a few kilometers apart. Water flows easily to wealthy developments. Water drips from corroded taps to the poorer communities.
Lack of Awareness. Uncheck Development. Unchecked Population.
I live only a few steps from the longest and most revered river in the world. For the last several years, I've followed the ebb and flow of this magnificent river. The Nile is filled with water, so what's the problem?
In the last few years, almost daily we have news of water shortages and protests on the distribution of water. Commercial and housing developments continue to be built, unchecked, around Cairo and along the Red Sea coast. It is no mystery that politics play a huge role in access to clean water.
Will Water Spur Our Next Revolution?
Since the 2011 Revolution, more and more Egyptian-founded environmental groups are voicing awareness to these issues, but our land and water continues to be misused and abused. Population grows. Water consumption grows. Our government continues to spin. Fingers get pointed outwards, but never inwards. We all need to be part of the solution, but it is government policy makers who hold the keys. I know that I'm not the only one here that wonders if lack of water will spur our next revolution, not only here, but worldwide.
Photo: I took this picture of children playing in an irrigation canal back in 2007. They were excited because they could swim in the water holding tank. The water is pumped to fields from the River Nile.