To what extend is the water of the Nile Valley being used in a sustainable way?
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To what extend is the water of the Nile Valley being used in a sustainable way? The Niles is the longest river that flows from south to north in North Africa. It provides water to 300 million people living in the ten riparian countries, which includes Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, DRC, Rwanda, Eritrea, and Burundi. Due to the booming population and desertification, those are 10 of the 58 countries experiencing a water scarcity or water stress. There are two key things done to control the Niles. They are the two treaties signed in 1929 and 1959 that favored Egypt and Sudan, and the Aswan High Dam, mainly benefiting Egypt.
Since the treaties are unfair to countries other than Egypt and Sudan, they cause political conflicts between countries. The treaty states that no country other than Egypt can use the water for irrigation and power generation. But that was signed in 1929, under the colonial Britain. Therefore, the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, a German organization, regarded this treaty as obsolete, and only post-colonial agreements can be considered valid. As more and more countries contested, in 1990s, they started to discuss a solution. Uganda asks for an annual compensation of US$1.2 million, Ethiopia says it will need less foreign food aid with the water. Bertrand Charrier, the Vice President of Green Cross International said that Egypt must learn to share the water, and the best solution is having an international law.
The wildlife is also fully affected, such as amount of shrimps has decreased in the Mediterranean Sea. Moreover, an important social impact is the increase of parasitic disease due to the stagnant water of the fields and the reservoir. From all of the above, we can see that the water in Niles not only affected the environment and people's life, and also made water and food a growing problem in their future generation. To conclude, it is clear that the water of the Nile Valley is not used in a sustainable way, mainly due to the unfair distribution and insufficient usage of water that reduces water and fertile land for farming. In order to solve this problem, an international agreement should be created to make the distribution of water fairer, and usage of water should be controlled by regulation and education.
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