The Nile Is Slowly Dying

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The Nile Sudd swamp in South Sudan is Africa’s largest freshwater wetland. A massive project aiming to divert water downstream to Egypt, could destroy this wetland forever. The Nile is dying, its tributaries and channels drying up and threatening the livelihoods of millions who depend on its nourishing waters.

JUBA SEPTEMBER 12: The Sudd swamp in South Sudan is Africa’s largest freshwater wetland. This unique landscape spreads out from the White Nile and is home to more than 400 bird and 100 mammal species.

But the Jonglei Canal, a massive project aiming to divert water downstream to Egypt, could be about to change it forever. Dredging operations began in summer 2022 to reduce flooding around the swamp, much to conservationists’ concern.

What impact do they fear the Jonglei Canal might have on the Sudd? And why was such a major construction project left half finished in the first place?

The Nile is slowly dying, its tributaries and channels drying up and threatening the livelihoods of millions who depend on its nourishing waters. Some of this is the natural cycle of the river – parts of the Nile have dried up before, making entire cities like ancient Meroe vanish.

A major construction project upriver is further endangering the life of the river.

In the strict meaning, “White Nile” refers to the river formed at Lake No, at the confluence of the Bahr al Jabal and Bahr el Ghazal Rivers.

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Featured Image: Rod Waddington

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