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2006年VOA标准英语-Egypt Uses Water Resources to Make Deserts Bloo

时间:2007-04-14 01:48来源:互联网 提供网友:Caitlin   字体: [ ]

By Leslie Boctor
01 August 2006

Roughly 96 percent of Egypt's land mass is made up of desert.  Since the time of the pharaohs, the country has relied on a fertile narrow strip along the Nile River to support every aspect of social and economic life.  Now, once again, Egypt is looking to the desert as well as the Nile to build new communities and grow more food. Leslie Boctor has more on Egypt's ambitious plans to reclaim1 desert from our Middle East bureau in Cairo.


Young boy floats in the water in an aluminum2 pot on the Nile delta3 in Egypt, (2001 file photo)   
Along the banks of the Nile, you'll still find ancient irrigation devices known as "shadufs" pulling up water from the river to irrigate4 the lush fields.  The land is among the most productive in the world, and most of Egypt's population lives in the Nile valley that makes up only four percent of the country's total area. The rest is sand.

Egypt is facing a population boom in its already overcrowded Nile corridor. It has no choice but to move into desert lands and redirect people and agriculture. Over the past 50 years, the country has invested enormous resources to divert water from the Nile  into desert areas.

Yet how can desert expansion be sustained when Egypt's very limited water supply is consumed virtually for free?  Developers continue to set up five-star resorts in the Sinai that rely on water pumped in from the Nile. Anthropologist5 Donald Cole, from the American University of Cairo, has reservations about how water is being used and at what cost.

"There are other activities that are taking place in the desert lands - tourism, location of new industries, schools, new urban communities, golf courses - which have water uses," said Mr. Cole.  "All of which is using Nile water, largely free. The water is not priced in ways that one would have to think of if you have to pay the true cost of the golf course.  There is a kind of private sector6 development that is pushing into and taking advantage of what is available in water, acting7 as if the water is here forever, and plenty of it, no problem."

Whether the government will move toward a realistic pricing of water remains8 to be seen. In the meantime, it is pressing forward with reclamation9 plans. Over the next 10 years, it wants to reclaim 1.4 million hectares of desert.  Critics, however, say this is unrealistic and estimate the figure to be half of that, water permitting.  One highly visible example of desert reclamation exists on the desert highway connecting Cairo and Alexandria.

Mohamed Farag, 76, is a Bedouin from the Sinai Peninsula. He works at the Desert Development Center, a research initiative sponsored by the American University in Cairo.  The center is one of the first experiments in land reclamation on the desert highway.

Farag points out over the land teeming10 with green and blooming bougainvillea and remembers what the area used to be. "Thirty years ago, when I first came here, this was all sand dunes," he said.  "Now look at it. It's full of citrus trees, grapes, wheat, everything. This is all thanks to Dr. Bishai."

The Desert Development Center is the brainchild of Adly Bishai, Egypt's pioneer in sustainable desert living. While the center has spent the last 30 years researching how to make life in the desert sustainable, the reclaimed11 land surrounding it has been used for other purposes.  Bishai laments12 that the land has been turned into gated communities and golf courses. If Egypt is going to make a dent13 in its population crisis and food shortages, he says, it must cater14 to the needs of average Egyptians.

"Egypt needs to use the desert to take care of the tremendous increase in population," he explained.  "We also need to use the desert to produce food, which we are now importing most of it. We are in a mess!  You see in order for the desert development to be successful, you have to have two things. One, enough water, and two, proper plans to get people convinced they can live there more comfortably and have a good life for themselves and their children."

President Hosni Mubarak inaugurated the world's largest water-pumping station last month in Egypt's Western Desert as part of a massive reclamation project. The station pumps more than 14 million cubic meters per day of water from Lake Nasser, behind the Aswan High Dam, to irrigate over 200,000 hecatres of desert land. The ultimate plan is to resettle some six million Egyptians from the Nile Valley to southern Egypt and the western oases15

If Egypt is to have any success with such mega-projects, Bishai urges the government to learn from its past mistakes. He says many of the desert satellite cities outside Cairo evolved either into industrial zones with dreary16 housing or residential17 developments with luxury villas18. Bishai says there has to be a compelling reason for people to leave their homes.

"Why would people want to leave their Cairo house and live somewhere else unless they get better housing? If they also have the facilities where they can send their children to good schools, where their wives can work - that's the only way to attract people to live there," he added.

As for Mohamed Farag,  he was convinced long ago that desert living was far superior to city life. He has one piece of advice for city dwellers19.  "Come," he said, "come and live here. There is plenty of room. You can plant anything This is a beautiful life, he says, one where you can live with dignity."


1 reclaim NUWxp     
  • I have tried to reclaim my money without success.我没能把钱取回来。
  • You must present this ticket when you reclaim your luggage.当你要取回行李时,必须出示这张票子。
2 aluminum 9xhzP     
  • The aluminum sheets cannot be too much thicker than 0.04 inches.铝板厚度不能超过0.04英寸。
  • During the launch phase,it would ride in a protective aluminum shell.在发射阶段,它盛在一只保护的铝壳里。
3 delta gxvxZ     
  • He has been to the delta of the Nile.他曾去过尼罗河三角洲。
  • The Nile divides at its mouth and forms a delta.尼罗河在河口分岔,形成了一个三角洲。
4 irrigate HRtzo     
  • The farmer dug several trenches to irrigate the rice fields.这个农民挖了好几条沟以灌溉稻田。
  • They have built canals to irrigate the desert.他们建造成水渠以灌溉沙漠。
5 anthropologist YzgzPk     
  • The lecturer is an anthropologist.这位讲师是人类学家。
  • The anthropologist unearthed the skull of an ancient human at the site.人类学家在这个遗址挖掘出那块古人类的颅骨。
6 sector yjczYn     
  • The export sector will aid the economic recovery. 出口产业将促进经济复苏。
  • The enemy have attacked the British sector.敌人已进攻英国防区。
7 acting czRzoc     
  • Ignore her,she's just acting.别理她,她只是假装的。
  • During the seventies,her acting career was in eclipse.在七十年代,她的表演生涯黯然失色。
8 remains 1kMzTy     
  • He ate the remains of food hungrily.他狼吞虎咽地吃剩余的食物。
  • The remains of the meal were fed to the dog.残羹剩饭喂狗了。
9 reclamation MkNzIa     
  • We should encourage reclamation and recycling.我们应当鼓励废物的回收和利用。
  • The area is needed for a land reclamation project.一个土地开垦项目要在这一地区进行。
10 teeming 855ef2b5bd20950d32245ec965891e4a     
adj.丰富的v.充满( teem的现在分词 );到处都是;(指水、雨等)暴降;倾注
  • The rain was teeming down. 大雨倾盆而下。
  • the teeming streets of the city 熙熙攘攘的城市街道
11 reclaimed d131e8b354aef51857c9c380c825a4c9     
adj.再生的;翻造的;收复的;回收的v.开拓( reclaim的过去式和过去分词 );要求收回;从废料中回收(有用的材料);挽救
  • Many sufferers have been reclaimed from a dependence on alcohol. 许多嗜酒成癖的受害者已经被挽救过来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • They reclaimed him from his evil ways. 他们把他从邪恶中挽救出来。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
12 laments f706f3a425c41502d626857197898b57     
n.悲恸,哀歌,挽歌( lament的名词复数 )v.(为…)哀悼,痛哭,悲伤( lament的第三人称单数 )
  • In the poem he laments the destruction of the countryside. 在那首诗里他对乡村遭到的破坏流露出悲哀。
  • In this book he laments the slight interest shown in his writings. 在该书中他慨叹人们对他的著作兴趣微弱。 来自辞典例句
13 dent Bmcz9     
  • I don't know how it came about but I've got a dent in the rear of my car.我不知道是怎么回事,但我的汽车后部有了一个凹痕。
  • That dent is not big enough to be worth hammering out.那个凹陷不大,用不着把它锤平。
14 cater ickyJ     
  • I expect he will be able to cater for your particular needs.我预计他能满足你的特殊需要。
  • Most schools cater for children of different abilities.大多数学校能够满足具有不同天资的儿童的需要。
15 oases ba47325cf78af1e5010defae059dbc4c     
n.(沙漠中的)绿洲( oasis的名词复数 );(困苦中)令人快慰的地方(或时刻);乐土;乐事
  • There was a hundred miles between the two oases. 这两片绿洲间有一百英里。 来自辞典例句
  • Where underground water comes to the surface, there are oases. 地下水流到地表的地方,就成为了绿洲。 来自互联网
16 dreary sk1z6     
  • They live such dreary lives.他们的生活如此乏味。
  • She was tired of hearing the same dreary tale of drunkenness and violence.她听够了那些关于酗酒和暴力的乏味故事。
17 residential kkrzY3     
  • The mayor inspected the residential section of the city.市长视察了该市的住宅区。
  • The residential blocks were integrated with the rest of the college.住宿区与学院其他部分结合在了一起。
18 villas 00c79f9e4b7b15e308dee09215cc0427     
别墅,公馆( villa的名词复数 ); (城郊)住宅
  • Magnificent villas are found throughout Italy. 在意大利到处可看到豪华的别墅。
  • Rich men came down from wealthy Rome to build sea-side villas. 有钱人从富有的罗马来到这儿建造海滨别墅。
19 dwellers e3f4717dcbd471afe8dae6a3121a3602     
n.居民,居住者( dweller的名词复数 )
  • City dwellers think country folk have provincial attitudes. 城里人以为乡下人思想迂腐。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • They have transformed themselves into permanent city dwellers. 他们已成为永久的城市居民。 来自《简明英汉词典》
TAG标签:   VOA标准英语  Egypt  Water  Resources    Egypt  Water  Resources
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