The Nile River By Hamish & Gardner

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The Nile is a finite and vulnerable resource in Africa. It is the considered the longest river in world. It flows through nine countries and sustains the life of a variety of flora and fauna. The Nile has a diverse history and has a massive abundance of mythology and legends. People use the Nile as a trade route between countries and river suffers adverse issues that impact on its waters.

The Nile consists of two sources, the Blue Nile, and the White Nile, that join to flow through nine countries of Africa, and empty in the Mediterranean Sea. They join near the Sudanese capital city, Khartoum, to form the proper Nile, which runs through Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt. It eventually flows through the Nile Delta, and finishes in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Nile flows through a broad range of habitats and weather conditions, and has been home to many native and introduced animals. The northern section of Nile flows almost entirely through desert, whereas other parts of the river flow through farmland, leaving rich silt and fertile soil vital for farmers and crops. Water buffalo were introduced from Asia, and were used for ploughing, and the Persians brought in camels in the 7th Century B.C. used for eating, while native animals like the infamous Nile crocodile had already declared this place home.

The Nile has a magnificent abundance of mythology and stars in many Egyptian stories and folklore, and was personified in countless ways. It is believed that Set, god of mischief, was jealous of his brother, Osiris, and his position as king. He trapped Osiris in a golden sarcophagus and flung him into the Nile, later to be rescued by his sister and wife, Isis. Anuket, goddess of the Nile, was a patron of the river and its inundation. She was seen with a headdress woven from reeds. Hapi was another Nile god, who was known for flooding. He was often prayed to for mercy, and was represented as two figures symbolically tying together Upper and Lower Egypt. Sobek, the crocodile god, was also worshipped by Egyptians, who believed that sacrificing animals to him would convince him to stop his crocodile brethren attacking them while sailing the Nile.

The Nile River has been used by Africans since the Stone Age, and has long been used to transport people along its length. Egyptians and other Africans often used the Nile as a trade route between cities and villages, delivering cargo such as wheat, flax, and other crops. The Egyptians also enjoyed many recreational activities, including swimming, fishing, sailing and watching wrestling and fights. They would also hunt crocodiles, lions and hippos with spears and bows and arrows.

Dominance of the Nile River has long been a major issue between countries, who are also polluting the river in turn, and are affected by flooding. Other African countries have complained about Egyptian overuse and control of its limited water resources. Companies like the Nile Basin Initiative promote peaceful cooperation between these states. People who live among the Nile’s banks depend on the floodwaters to feed their crops, but some villagers are affected and towns can be devastated by the quickly rising river.

The Nile has a rich and diverse history, and without it, famous states like Egypt would not be known. Throughout antiquity, Egypt's standing relied on the Nile. Agriculture evolved, together with the land itself, during the millennia after the last Ice Age ended around 10,000 BC, expanding greatly from about 4500 BC onward. By 3100 BC the Nile Valley and Delta had coalesced into a single entity that was the world's first large nation state. As well as providing the region's material potential, the Nile and other geographical features influenced political developments and were significant in the development of Egyptian thought. The land continued to develop and its population increased until Roman times.