New Resources, New Opportunities

Ahmed Belal, John Briggs, Joanne Sharp and Irina Springuel

in Bedouins by the Lake

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9789774161988
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970320 | DOI:
New Resources, New Opportunities

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This chapter examines the effects of environmental changes brought about by the Aswan High Dam on the resource base for those people living in the desert. It considers the resources traditionally available to the Bedouin, and the new opportunities emerging as a result of the High Dam Lake. The resultant biomass now provides a range of exploitable resources. Grazing resources consequent upon the retreat of the lake are now available from October to November until the following August, and are being increasingly supplemented by the cultivation of small amounts of fodder crops, irrigated by either lake water directly or seepage water from the lake that fills wells, sometimes at considerable distances from the lakeshore. The biomass, especially tamarisk bushes and trees, also provides firewood and building materials, as well as medicinal plants and herbs. If the soils of Wadi Allaqi are used with care and are maintained properly, they are more than capable of supporting cultivation on small farms.

Keywords: Lake Nasser; Aswan High Dam; environmental change; Bedouins; biomass; small farms

Chapter.  10848 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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