Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sudan, Nile (contd-3)

Water: An increasingly Scarce Resource in the Nile basin: As we move into the 21st century , attention was shifted to the question of how to best of us the 80 cubic kms of water that the Nile annually transports from equatorial Africa across the Sahara to the Mediterranean sea . The answers to these questions will most affect Egypt with its rapidly growing population of 65 million people almost totally dependent on ile. Population growth in Egypt is expected to outstrip the water ressources of the Nile early in the 21st century. This problem will be greatly complicated by population and ecnomic growth in he upstream nations of Sudan, Ethiopia and eritrea.
Religious: The Nile plays a prominent role in both the Old and New Testaments. The Hebrew captives made bricks with its mud and Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus sought refuge on its banks. Two of the most interesting Biblical stories about the Nile are Joseph's interpretation of Pharoah"s daughter found the baby Moses.

19th Century exploration: It is hard to believe in this age of satellite that a great deal of attempt waas made to discover the source of the Nile. At first the emperor Nero sent two centurians to follow the Nile to its origin. These returned to Rome and reported that they " came close to immense swamps of which not even the local people knew the end. So tangled and thick were the plants in he waters that it was impossible to proceed either by foot or by boat.The two Romans were blocked by the Sudd in southern Sudan, perhaps the largest swampn the earth.
Finding the source of the Blue Nile was an easier task than the finding of that of the White Nile. Portuguese missionaries were the first Europeansto visit lake Tana, in the early 1600s, and the Scottish explorer james Bruce in 1770 followed the Abay Wenz upstream from lake Tana to the swampy spring which may be considered to be the source of the Blue Nile.
In the early 1800s exploers again tried to penetrate the Sudd but failed. In 1857 the British explorer Burton and Speke left Zanzibaron the coast of what is now Tanzania and headed inland to search for mysterious lake in the interior of Africa. Fighting sickness all the time , Speke separated from Burton to visit a large lake reported to lie to the north. On July 30, 1858 , Speke glimpesed the body of water later to be named after Victoria, the reigning queen of England. He guessed that this was the source of White Nile and rushed back to share the good news with Burton , who argued that Speke had not seen enough of the lake to be sue. they returned to zanzibar together , and Speke returned to England alone where he claimed to have discovered the source of the White Nile and began planning for a second expedition , this time accompanied by Grant. Speke and Grant arrived in Zanzibar in August 1860 and travelled inland. They slowly worked their way around the west side of lake Victoria before glimpsing the the nile issuing from the north side of the lake in july 1862. Although arguments among explorers continued for a few more years , the source of the White nile was resolved.

Why the Nile is so Important ?
Alexander The Great asked the question, what caused the Nile to rise? Julius Caesr said that Alexander wnted to know the source of the Nile. The mystery of the source of the nile was not discovered until 1859. It took the middle part of the last century to know the source of the nile.
Egypt is and was the "Gift of the Nile". Ethiopian mud nurtured a civilisation that flourished for almost 3000 years before the Roman Empire began. Until the Aswan high dam was constructed , the Nille rose and flooded its valley every summer and ancient people wandered why the river would swell during the hottest and dryest time of the year.