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18 - 23 April 2017

When is she running here?

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Egypt

Where is the river? 

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Global goal 6.6

What Global Goal will Mina focus on? 

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5 marathons

How far is Mina running here?

 

 

- The world's longest river - 

 

 

Key water Facts

Egypt is a desert country that has no water resources except for the Nile, which provides 97% of their water supply.

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Egypt has been classified as “water scarce” since 2005 and by 2025 the UN predicts it will be approaching a state of “absolute water crisis”.

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These Nile Basin nations have a population of over 450 million people, which is expected to double in the next twenty-five years.

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Day 26 | 18 April 2017 | 1,127km done | 561km to go

As-salamu alaykum from the banks of the longest river in the world, the Nile! 🇪🇬 I’m here to run the 5th and penultimate leg of my 6 River Run.
 

 
I’m excited to run along the Nile - the longest river in the world. Her 6,853km of water travels through 11 different countries. Ancient Egyptians prized and venerated the Nile. She was their umbilical cord for transport, commerce and agriculture with good reason.
Egypt is a desert country that has no water resources except for the Nile. Only 6% of the country is arable and agricultural land; the rest of the country is desert. Looking at any map or aerial image, you’ll see that the Nile creates a fertile green valley across the vast desert landscape of North Africa.
Mina Guli #Run4Water
Mina Guli #Run4Water
Today still Egypt and her 92 million people rely on the Nile for an astounding 97% of their water needs. Unfortunately, Egypt has been classified as “water scarce” since 2005. And that’s why I have come here to run - to learn from those who were the first to tame water, about what can be done to better manage and protect this precious resource.

Day 27 | 19 April 2017 | 1,127km done | 561km to go

Today I had the opportunity to climb down into the depths of one of Cairo’ oldest buildings to see one of the world’s first water measurement devices. Known as al-Miqyas in Arabic, a Nilometer is a structure that was used to measure the Nile River’s water level during the annual flood season.
Mina Guli #Run4Water
Mina Guli #Run4water
Between July and November, the Nile used to flood her banks and cover the adjacent flood plain. When the waters receded, around September or October, a rich deposit of exceptionally fertile black sediment was left behind over the croplands. This is why Ancient Egyptians called the river “Ar” or “Aur”, which means black.

The floods were important to the rulers of Egypt, the Caliph, and the general population. A moderate flood was a vital part of the agricultural cycle; however, if it was low, there would be famine. If it was too high, it would be destructive - washing away much of the infrastructure built on the flood plain.
Mina Guli #Run4water
Nilometers continued to be used until the 20th century when the Nile’s natural flows were disrupted by the construction of the Aswan dams, which put an end to the Nile’s annual inundation, rendering the Nilometers obsolete.

The Nile River has been of critical economic importance to both ancient and modern Egypt, officials have gauged its water levels for more than 5,000 years. That’s an incredible hydrological time series!

These Nilometers are a remarkable reminder of Egypt’s illustrious past and history of water engineering. Seeing this, I got a real sense of the importance of water to Egyptians. #Run4Water
 

 
Mina Guli #Run4Water
We caught a sleeper train from Cairo to Aswan and meandered our way for over 1,000km up and along the Nile River.

Framed by my rectangular train window, the sandy horizon was broken views of farm plots, age-old irrigation canals and punctuated with date palms. Quintessential Nile.
The down time was well utilized by Brock Healy from Hong Kong Foot Clinic for some train-ride toe-surgery.
Mina Guli #Run4water

Day 28 | 20 April 2017 | 1,172km done | 515km to go

How do you sustain one of the fastest growing economies in Africa in a country with no appreciable rainfall?

As Egypt’s population grew, so did the risks of the annual flooding to its people and agriculture. In 1950, the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser envisioned building a new dam across the Nile, one large enough to end flooding and bring electric power to every corner of Egypt.
MIna Guli #Run4Water
The Aswan High Dam provides half of Egypt’s power needs, a country of 92 million people. As I was running, huge power cables were cutting straight lines across the undulating sand dunes. An example of mankind and nature in sync.
Mina Guli #Run4Water
Mina Guli #Run4Water
The dam doesn’t just produce power however. Egypt’s agriculture depends entirely on irrigation. The dam regulates the flow of river and supplies water for irrigation throughout the year, almost doubling the agricultural yield. The reservoir also helps to supply the stored water during droughts in a nation where climate change has drastically altered precipitation.
The Aswan Dam stands as a testament to the ability of modern technology to solve ancient problems, to make a nation more sustainable, more resilient and to provide water solutions for all.
Mina Guli #Run4water

Day 29 | 21 April 2017 | 1,217km done | 471km to go

For the first time since I started running in March, I feel like I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. I’m really battling with my legs. They’re in so much pain and I haven’t been able to physically run since yesterday afternoon. Traversing sand dunes and trails in ankle-deep sand has slowed my walk down to what I can best describe as a hobble. I have to complete 180km by the end of Sunday. But, I’m not sure how I’m going to do it if I can’t run...
 

 
This is not something that is easy for me to share.

Day 30 | 22 April 2017 | 1,262km done | 426km to go

A quick update and a message for Earth Day from the banks of the Nile. No tears in this one - promise :)
 

 
When your body starts to argue that there’s no justifiable reason to continue, the only recourse is to call on your spirit and those of the people around you.
Mina Guli #Run4water
An enormous heartfelt thanks of gratitude to everyone for all the messages of support and encouragement over the last 24 hours. I carry your words with me every step of the way and have found the courage to start running again, albeit slowly. After more than a month of non-stop running, we’re now less than 10 days away from the finish line.
Mina Guli #Run4Water
Mina Guli #Run4Water
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Day 31 | 23 April 2017 | 1,307km done | 381km to go

Mina Guli #Run4Water
“Allah gave us the Nile, and so we are not worried about the other countries taking our water. Allah will not leave us without water. Inshallah.”
— Mahmoud, 34-year-old farmer in Aswan.
Everything you see around you has been born from the river. Our people managed to take the water of the Nile and build an empire from what could have been barren desert.
— Mohammed Abdelwahab, a date farmer from Aswan
Mina Guli #Run4Water
 

 
Water is a dangerously scarce commodity in North Eastern Africa. The Nile River passes through 11 countries and is the only major reliable source of renewable water supply in the Nile Basin, a region whose combined population is 450 million, and growing. Estimates indicate that the Basin’s population is expected to double in the next 25 years.

Egypt’s historic right to the Nile has encouraged over-dependency and a mindset of the Nile as a perpetual water source. Egypt currently relies on the Nile for 97% of its water needs. In line with trends of water overuse, population growth, climate change and the possible redistribution of the Nile’s resource to other riparian nations, Egypt faces the challenge of coping with severe future water scarcity. The United Nations has warned that Egypt could run out of water by 2025.

Egypt is the country in the world with the longest history of water management and engineering. Can these ancient techniques be adapted to meet the demand of modern river management systems and water demand?
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Mina Guli #Run4Water
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My thoughts on the water situation in Egypt