Sunday, May 13, 2012

Potential impacts of Toshka project on ancient sites

With thanks to Per Storemyr for this link.

Green Prophet (Bushra Azhar)   

The Toshka Project is supposed to be completed in 2020, and according to Ministry of water Resources and Irrigation in Egypt, the valley will attract investment in terms of industrial, agricultural and tourism investment. It is also intended to house than three million residents and to increase Egypt’s arable land area by 10%. However, on-ground reality paints a completely different and dismal picture.

There is no documented environmental impact assessment done on the sight before the project was launched. An assessment of the possible positive or negative impact that a proposed project may have on the social and environmental landscape helps determine the feasibility of the project. According to the report in the Egypt Independent,  “A look at some technical requirements show that not everything was taken into full consideration before the first ploughs started digging, and to this day, the Water Resources and Irrigation Ministry — responsible for the project — does not make public the different studies related to Toshka it may have conducted over the years”.

Cynicism over the supposed wisdom of reclaiming land in an area with extremely hostile and unpredictable weather has also been expressed. Temperatures ranging from 0°C to 50°C are routinely experienced in the area and this makes a number of construction activities a virtual impossibility. According to Conservationist Mindy Bahaa Eddin claims that Toshka would have caused great damage to the many ancient sites found in Kharga Oasis.

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