Egypt is predominantly an arid desert, and each year, more fertile land is claimed by the desert. The only way to counter this problem is to reclaim desert land by planting forests. But, a lack of rainfall is a problem for growing trees in the region.
Despite the dry land and scarcity of rain, an innovative project in Egypt using wastewater to plant forests is proving highly successful.
Located just two hours away from the capital Cairo near the town of Ismaileya, the Serapium Forest is spread over 200 hectares. The forest is home to a variety of native and non-native trees like eucalyptus and mahogany.
Egypt has created this natural miracle with the help of scientists from the Technical University of Munich, Germany.
The secret is an irrigation system that sources water from a nearby sewage treatment plant. The network of irrigation tubes provides liquid nourishment to the trees. The treated sewage water is rich in nutrients and the bacteria in the water could contaminate fruit and vegetable crops. But this treated water is a rich fertilizer for trees.
Abundant sunshine is powering the growth of the trees
Egypt receives twice the sunshine as compared to the scientists’ local German climate. The eucalyptus trees in this thriving forest are growing four times faster than they would in Germany.