This last entry in the series of entries dedicated to the saqias of Sai and Nubia will try to avoid the pessimistic aura that can be caused by photos like the following:
This was taken from a folkloric saqia structure in the Buri compounds for the Khartoum International Trade Fare that takes place there ever year. For it we thank our friend blogger of apouro. Thanks vad :-)
Still, even in this context, no one cared this time to repair the old saqia, although much has been invested for the bulky buildings that house the exhibited “goods”. However, in Khartoum too, there used to be a time when saqias were providing water for the fields and thus indirectly feeding the population. Nowadays, the city-dwellers of the Sudanese capital possibly have no idea where the water they use in irrational amounts comes from. So, we are afraid that the country is rushing into ecological destruction, before any other sort of disintegration really happens…
Would that mean that the wheel of time should turn back? Impossible You say…
And partly this is correct. But to adopt policies of rational development on the basis of the local scale needs and potential is not impossible. It is simply unimaginable for some type of authorities!
That is why we followed with sincere interest the opening of the conference Age of Uncertainty at the University of Bergen this week.
The agent behind the conference is Professor Terje Tvedt, who has water and society as field of study.
The main theme of the conference was water and how all societies are shaped by the water that runs through them. The conference states that we now live in an age of uncertainty when it comes to the distribution of water resources globally. It has become clear that climate is changing, and more and more societies become aware that their water resources are changing as well. Floods, droughts, and pollution are now altering the water landscapes – and this is also felt strongly in the Nile Valley.
The Nile is the longest river in the world, and ten countries currently share its basin with the new Southern Sudan in the middle as the eleventh one from 9th of July this year. The water of the Nile is already a geopolitical issue – and a major task for the future will be for the Nile Basin states to manage this water resource in a sustainable way. As for the maintenance of the current discharge of this great river, the millions of people inhabiting its banks and depending on its water have nothing but hope that the climate changes will be favorable and not devastating for their corner of the world.
The conference also celebrated the publication of the six volumes of A History of Water edited by Terje Tvedt.
And if one wonders how is archaeology linked to all these, a first answer (out of many similar, but this one is “freshly pressed”) here:
…and another (even more juicy!) one in the next entry…