Ethiopia and the River Nile
𝐄𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐨𝐩𝐢𝐚 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐑𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐍𝐢𝐥𝐞
A rare knowledge, indeed, is that Ethiopia's high plateau is the abundant water source and the origin to most of the high cultures of history and even the cultural cradle of the today's modern civilizations. Even among highly educated groups in the technologically advanced countries, this is unknown and often an embarrassingly irritating piece of information.
|Water to the Capital is the closest to the direct|
benefit of this unique water resource that rests
in this magnificent and historic mountain
massif that forms a water divider
for the Nile's main flow
They hesitated to follow the Blue Nile to such a high degree that the explorers first in 1968 could muster the challenge and lure of the more significant cause of this ancient and mysterious water-flow by following an arduous journey through Ethiopia's deep gorges and canyons. Thus, they gazed the horizon of Lake Tana, the still mythical source of the Nile and the team of 60 British and Ethiopian servicemen and scientists made the first complete descent and scientific investigation of the Blue Nile.
Always hazardous this journey went, into waterways of steep rising clefts, endlessly repeating and with little rests in unforgiving dusky nights. Through the hardship and moisty starvation, this journey continued, into these irresistible beautiful but harshly demanding and dizzying looming twilight gorges. They continued intensely beneath these towering high mountain crests of the Ethiopian Highland and among the waterways of deeply lurking beasts. Within this abyss of still unknown origin and in this concealed landscape underneath the Ethiopian high-plateau they, at last, found their way and created the first investigative research of this mighty waterway beneath Ethiopia's historic Highland.
|Entoto Natural Park and its Southern Rim of the High Plateau. |
The Viewpoint (16) fairly near the Mountain Crest, water divider to the Nile.
In ancient times, Ethiopia's considerable rainwater resources were probably not so contradictory, and the reason was mainly the abundant natural vegetation of Ethiopia's highlands. This native Ethiopian vegetation served as an extremely effective physical barrier, blocking and the country's water masses from rushing down the country's slopes in the direction of Egypt. Also, the same native vegetation was the reason that this water was not only prevented from draining but also that this original vegetation function as countless very efficient drainage pipes, down towards Ethiopia's thick soil layers and the deeper groundwater reservoirs.
This seasonal water flows over the Ethiopian Highlands were then historically and even more pre-historically infiltrating the deluge into soil permeability and by gravity vertically delivered this mass of purified water to be stored in underground aquifers.
Historically, these large quantities of torrential precipitations were accumulated for a long time within the borders of Ethiopia, with the result that the total water flows in the country were greatly extended over time and at the same time subdued in its sudden and erosive overflows. These floodwaters were thus regularly swallowed by Ethiopia's geology, landscape and vegetation during each rainy period, and only after these were fully saturated did the abundance of rainwater begin to flow further into the Nile.
After the surprisingly long opposite turned detour of the Blue Nile's long journey towards the south and Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, the Blue Nile turns at last turns northwards and unites with the White Nile in Sudan and then continues to Egypt. Although the river Nile is very long and mighty, it can, of course, be seen as very odd how it also is subdued to considerable losses of water. Due to leaks along its extremely long river path the River Nile is, of course, defeated with many forfeitures of water in soil permeability and evaporation. Furthermore, these countries receiving the water below the Ethiopian Highland are well known as warmer lowland areas; nevertheless, this water from Ethiopia finally arrives in Egypt in historical quantities.
It is a meteorological phenomenon (Orographic Precipitation) that is very well known and obvious that the incoming clouds transform their moisture into rain as they rise over a high mountain mass. However, this mountain massif need not in any way be close to potential civilization to deliver high volumes of water. Still, the source of the precipitation and the beneficial countries may be very distant from one another, such as the Ethiopian Highlands and the Egyptian civilization. The Ethiopian Highlands is a historical example here, which, despite its remoteness, is nevertheless the most significant carrier of the water that arrives in Egypt's civilization through the Nile River.
The Blue Nile from Ethiopia is here, with it's 70 - 80% of the Nile's water during the rainy seasons, without comparison the dominant source of the Nile, and this should be essential to point out as a crucial historical reality. It's is usually described how the countries south of Ethiopia are the source of the Nile. However, this is only correct in the adventure literature and the early travellers' romantic description of heroic adventures' discoveries in the ascent of the breathtakingly beautiful cloud-covered Ruwenzori mountains and glaciers in the mountain range through the countries of Uganda and Congo.
In the case of reality and science, it's Ethiopia, with the large lake Tana that dominates and distributes this water to the River Nile and this thanks to the Blue Nile's long journey through the highlands of Ethiopia.
Located on a mountain ridge of Entoto Natural Park its crest forms a big water divider. The northern slope drains into the Blue Nile, and the precipitation from the southern slope will end up in the Awash River.
This topographical configuration of Entoto Natural Park's mountain crest has the curious result that two raindrops that simultaneously moist the soil of Entoto's mountain crest, only a centimetre apart from each other, will have quite different destinies. One waterway will, after a long journey through the River Nile reach the Mediterranean Sea. In contrast, the other watershed will pass through the city of Addis Ababa, eventually evaporating in the Danakil Desert, as the Awash River never reaches the sea.