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Bedouins by the LakeEnvironment, Change, and Sustainability in Southern Egypt$
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Ahmed Belal and John Briggs

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9789774161988

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774161988.001.0001

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New Resources, New Opportunities

New Resources, New Opportunities

(p.67) 3 New Resources, New Opportunities
Bedouins by the Lake

Ahmed Belal

John Briggs

Joanne Sharp

Irina Springuel

American University in Cairo Press

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

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