Nile River Stars in New TV Series

Lori Pottinger

A new three-part series by Al Jazeera explores the human history surrounding the Nile – the world's longest river – and the growing conflict around its use. That conflict is being fanned by a growing population, political unrest, climate change, and a dam-boom in the region (especially in Ethiopia ). It’s a very powerful and comprehensive look at this remarkable, important resource.

The 7,000km Nile is a lifeline for almost 400 million people in 10 countries. The producers talked to dozens of people, including our friend in Uganda, Frank Muramuzi, who describes the need for balancing development with the need to protect the river and all it supports. Frank and his group NAPE have been the primary advocates for protecting the White Nile from a slew of big dams. The series shows the river's importance through the voices of Hamdi, a Sudanese farmer, who says, “"The most beautiful thing distinguishing us from the rest of the world is the Nile. There is no other river like it. It's a great river – heavenly – and the life around it is unique." It describes the history of the political struggle to control the great river.   Another interview with our friend Arif Gamal describes the displacement of the Nubian people for the Aswan Dam; Arif was one of over 120,000 Nubians – in both Egypt and Sudan – who were forced to move. Today, the Nubian people are also threatened by Kajbar Dam , which they have vowed to fight. And an interview with yours truly goes into greater detail about the impact of dams on the river.

Thank you, Al Jazeera, for making the mysterious and beautiful Nile a television star!