Background info
Alexandria is surrounded on three sides by the Mediterranean Sea and backs up to a lake, making it uniquely susceptible to the rise in sea levels caused by global warming and the melting of the polar ice caps.
Egypt's Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation says the sea level rose by an average of 1.8 millimeters annually until 1993. Over the following two decades that rose to 2.1 millimeters a year, and since 2012 it has reached as high as 3.2 millimeters per year, enough to threaten building foundations.
Sea level rise - sinking of the land
The IPCC reported that Alexandria’s beaches would be submerged even with a 0.5-metre sea-level rise, while 8 million people would be displaced by flooding in Alexandria and the surrounding Nile Delta if no protective measures are taken. The land on which Alexandria and its area is built on is sinking at roughly the same rate as the sea level rises, due in part to upstream dams that prevent the replenishment of silt and to natural gas extraction. That is expected to exacerbate the effects of the rise in sea level, with potentially catastrophic consequences.
For many residents living in Alexandria and Egypt, there is little public information to connect the increasingly chaotic weather and floods with climate change. We need to urge the authorities to implement climate education immediately!
Rising sea levels and seawater temperatures have serious effects in terms of affecting the salinity of the Nile; it is inevitable that salty water will ruin the farmland on the Nile Delta which is Egypt’s main source for crops and agricultural products while at the same time it’ll be affecting the livelihood of rural communities and farmers.
Al / El Max
Al / El Max (two types of spelling) is an unknown corner of the city to many Alexandrians, in between concrete overpasses, flat planes of polluted industrial wasteland and dust-choked streets where thick, dark clouds from nearby Petroleum factories have coated the surface. Much of the surrounding area appears almost hostile to human life, due to the amount of pollution the area faces.
The residents’ daily lives revolve around processing, storing, transporting, and selling fish. With hundreds of boats darting through the canal, Al Max resembles and has been called the “Venice of Egypt”.
In recent years, pollution by chemical and petroleum industries in the area, and government negligence have taken a tragic toll on the fishing community. Al Max is one of the several areas that have been affected by environmental pollution that has plagued Egypt over the past decades.
The plight of El Max’s residents is an early warning sign, the first wave of thousands who will be forced to move due to the effects of climate change on the area, in particular nearby Lake Mariout.
How you can help
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