British pound climbs as government makes U-turn on tax cut plan    Egypt's net foreign assets decline again to reach $925 million in August    Turkey's inflation jumps to 83% highest level in nearly in 24 years    Egypt's FM heads to Congo Today to attend PRECOP27 conference    King Charles III won't attend COP27 in Egypt, following PM Truss advice    Swedish coastguard says: Fourth leak discovered on Nord Stream pipelines    Egyptian gecko invades Israel    Egypt welcomes back Russian flights on 1st October    Egypt launches 200 Years of Continuing Science tourism campaign    Egypt, UAE partner on sustainable waste management in Sharm el-Sheikh ahead of COP27    QNB Group names TikToker Khaby Lame official FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 brand ambassador    Three possible scenarios as Egypt's central bank governor resigns – MP    Adele is living a love story, wants to be a homemaker    In Photos: Egypt swears in 13 new ministers after major Cabinet reshuffle    Egypt's Sisi names 13 ministers in Cabinet reshuffle    Spain: prosecutor seeks 8 years sentence for Shakira over tax evasion    Egypt: Alamein Art Festival kicks off a collection of recycled installations    Egypt's athlete Basma Emad wins bronze in weightlifting in Mediterranean Games    Maha karara joins AAIB as Head of Corporate Communications, Sustainability    Egypt works on charting cooperation strategies with international institutions for 5 years: Al-Mashat    Over 2.4 million newborns examined for hearing impairment: Health Ministry    Netflix releases trailer of Arab adaption of 'Perfect Strangers' film    Balqees to headline concert celebrating launch of streaming giant LIVENow in MENA    Sawsan Badr to be honoured at Aswan Women Film Festival    MP Abdel Hady Al-Qasby calls government to facilitate and support NGOs    Al-Sisi follows up on 'Great Transfiguration Project' in St. Catherine    Cairo, London stress need to strengthen cooperation to face climate change    Foreigners account for 22.6% of Egypt's T-bills issuances in 1H 2021: CBE    Egypt's ambassador to Italy passes away    Egypt confirms readiness to help African countries face terrorism and extremism    An estimated 235 million people needed humanitarian assistance and protection in 2021, an increase of 40% compared to 2020: IOM Egypt    Egypt, DRC discuss water cooperation during WYF    Egypt, DR Congo discuss boosting bilateral cooperation during WYF    Cameroonian police probe assault on three Algerian journalists covering AFCON    Pharaohs start AFCON 2021 campaign with fierce clash against Nigeria    Foreign Ministry opens capacity building course for French-speaking African diplomats    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egypt's FM asserts importance of stability in Libya, holding elections as scheduled    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

New lease of life for Egypt
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 11 - 05 - 2006

By Seheir Kansouh-Habib
Sustainable livelihood is more than mere survival. It means quality life. From time immemorial, life in Egypt has been the envy of all. More recently the country has seen a deterioration in the quality of life mostly confirming the Malthusian theory: the land to man ratio can no longer provide a decent life for all. So what do we do? Family planning, and other population and development initiatives are essential but are no longer a sufficient remedy for all consequential implications of overcrowding.
Is density our destiny as the great late Gamal Hamdan once said? Are we to keep our hands tied because of our past mistakes and lack of confidence in our ability to take decisions based on scientific and rational thinking? Can't we learn from the past and go on building our future? In this issue, we are presenting what we, the Editorial Board, believe is a well researched proposal made by a world scientist and son of Egypt, Dr Farouk El-Baz, to meet one of the country's most pressing problems. In addition to various articles relating to diverse areas of concern in today's socio-political and cultural debate, another proposal by Dr Abou Zeid Rageh is presented.
Most important, we have solicited and obtained the views of the eminent Professor Dr Roushdy Said as he is opposing Dr El Baz' proposal. From our point of view as development experts and practitioners, albeit non-specialised in desert development, we believe that Dr Said's words of caution are to be taken most seriously. We don't think, however, that this should deter policy makers from exploring the feasibility of Dr El Baz' proposal without delay. His proposal was presented 20 years ago when the private sector was not yet a full partner of Egypt's development. Now things have changed. Private investments can effectively support an initiative that promises a new lease of life for Egypt. New technologies can help minimize past abuses of resources. El Baz' proposal, as shown in the special report (pp7-9), also holds the promise of linking with Sudan, a more than neglected issue, and to perhaps provide some fresh thought on the Toshka initiative that may otherwise count as one of the biggest mistakes of our times.
My own word of caution relates to water. Having had the Nile running in our veins for life, we cannot believe it could be endangered. However, most of us seem to be oblivious of the fact that we are importers of water. Our main source lies in the Ethiopian plateau, and the struggle related to water is anticipated to be even fiercer than the struggle over oil.
I just returned from Uzbekistan where I saw their main river, the Amu Darya, dry up and Aral Sea turning into a shrinking, salty and dying pool. This was due to political decisions to deviate the course of the river based on short term economic gains, mostly to benefit the ruling power. Let us not fall into the trap of misdirected vision, but let us ponder seriously and act!
* The writer is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Beyond

Clic here to read the story from its source.