Aswan high dam project is found in Egypt near the country’s border with Sudan, and it is one of the biggest multipurpose river projects in Africa, together with lake Nasser, the man-made lake behind the dam. There are two dams at Aswan and both have power stations. The first dam was constructed in 1902 at Aswan to confront flooding. This was totally inadequate and in 1956 a new dam was set up south of Aswan called the Aswan high dam.
The Aswan high dam was completed in 1970. It is 3600m long and 111m high. At the top, it is 40m wide and at its base, it is almost a km wide. Behind the dam is lake Nesser (500km long nearly 150km into Sudan.
The following are the benefits of the Aswan high dam:
- Diversification of the economy by developing many economic activities in the region such as farming, trade, industries, hence increasing national income.
- Lake Nasser and the dam supplies water for domestic and industrial use for example water used in textiles factories
- Fishing has been developed due to the presence of lake Nasser behind the dam hence increasing the income of the people.
- The dam has controlled the flooding of the river Nile in Egypt which used to threaten life in the lower Nile.
- The project has promoted irrigation, hence increasing arable land. this has increased food and cash crop production such as rice, cotton, maize orchard, and wheat.
- The generation of hydroelectric power from the dam has promoted a number of sectors such as the trade and service sector.
- Promotion of industrial development due to hydroelectric power and water supply such as aluminum plant and grain mills.
- Promotion of the tourism sector which has led to the generation of foreign exchange. the dam, lake Nasser and irrigated farmland are all tourist attractions.
- Aswan high dam has led to the growth of urban centres such as Luxor, Qena, and Cairo and associated infrastructure development such as banks, commercial buildings, and roads