War clouds gather as nations demand a piece of the Nile

The Times of London
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Nairobi, Kenya

A girl from a Cairo slum carries water from the Nile (Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters)
A girl from a Cairo slum carries water from the Nile (Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters)

Without the Nile, Egypt would be a scarcely habitable desert, Sudan a parched wilderness. The world’s longest river flows for more than 4,000 miles through northeast Africa; it irrigates farmland, provides water for drinking and sanitation and drives hydroelectric power stations.

The Nile supplies almost all of Egypt’s fresh water and three quarters of Sudan’s. Both countries claim historic rights over it but neither controls its sources. For thousands of years Egypt has jealously defended its right to use the Nile’s waters as it pleases.

Now, amid warnings of conflict and crop failure, the balance of power is starting to change as other countries make new claims on the water. Continue reading War clouds gather as nations demand a piece of the Nile