It is now necessary to talk about the celebrated Aswan Dam, Egypt’s «protection against hunger». The project was entrusted to the Soviet Union and construction was started in January 1960. On the 14th May 1964 the waters of the Nile were released into the derivation canal. The construction of this dam with the consequent formation of an artificial lake, lake Nasser, 500 kilometres long with a capacity of 157 thousand million cubic metres making it the world’s second largest after the one on the Zambesi, has resolved quite a few of Egypt’s economic problems. Egypt’s problems can be summed up in two figures. Of a surface area of 900,000 square kilometres only 38,000 were previously under cultivation, that is about 4%. With the dam not only would it be possible to increase the area under cultivation but an ambitious system of irrigation would be set up and the annual production of electrical energy would be increased.
|Egypt before Aswan Dam|