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The jonglei canal needed development or potential eco disaster?


, : The jonglei canal needed development or potential eco disaster?. Environmental Conservation 9(2): 141-147

The Nile is the major source of water for irrigation in northern Sudan and Egypt. The need for water is most acute during the dry season, which coincides with the period of low-flow of the Nile. Intensive studies were made, since 1904, on the hydrology of the Nile and its control, while dams have been built on the Blue Nile, the White Nile and the River Nile (i.e., after the confluence of the Blue Nile and White Nile at Khartoum). The concept of storage in the equatorial lakes was also entertained, before the decision was taken on the current excavation of the Jonglei Canal to by-pass the Sudd swamps. A vast literature is available on the hydrology and hydrobiology of the Nile. This is the 1st attempt to present unpublished notes with a compilation of the published literature. The existing Jonglei Canal Project, which is often confused with earlier-suggested projects, is outlined. The need for water and the present state of knowledge justify undertaking Phase 1 of the Project, but not Phase 2, are considered. A future paper (now in preparation) will deal in detail with claims that the excavation of the Canal will have drastic ecological repercussions, and will affect the way of life of the local Nilotic tribes.

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