Egypt has made up its mind to arrest the onslaught of desertification. A controversial scheme to make the country's deserts bloom has found favour with it, when recently in an international tender, the country announced its plan to build the world's largest pumping station. The station will pump 300 cu m of water a second from the Aswan high dam lake to the adjoining Toshka depression. The diverted water will irrigate 200,000 ha parallel to Nile valley.
Described by President Hosni Mubarak as Egypt's project for the 21st century, the scheme is supposed to follow the original course of the Nile and make the land along it fertile.
But objection to the project was raised as some irrigation experts said that Egypt could not afford to waste water in the desert and that water in the Toshka depression was enough to produce a single crop a year.
But minister of state Youssef Boutros-Ghali said, "We can't go on using agricultural land to live on. This government wants to address problems at the root.