The largest navigable lagoon is to be constructed on Egypt’s Red Sea coast at Sharm el-Sheikh. According to reports, the navigable crystalline lagoon will be be the biggest of its kind in the world.
Egypt already has a similar waterway at another Red Sea coastal resort of el-Gouna, but with tourism stagnating on the Red Sea due to marine life destruction, the tourism ministry said it will be a way of attracting visitors to its resorts.
“We believe that this effort is needed in order to continue to prove that Egypt is moving forward on tourism efforts and staying ahead of the game,” Tarek Gamal, a ministry official, told Bikya Masr on Tuesday. He said that the 12 hectare lagoon will be “encircled by another 10 massive lagoons that will hold more than 100 hectares of water. It will be like a desert oasis.”
The lagoons will offer a beach environment and top level aquatic sports within the precincts of the lagoons.
The first part of the tourism development will be ready by 2012.
The Crystal Lagoons Corp has 50 ongoing and planned developments throughout the Middle East, including 12 projects in Egypt.
Despite the optimism, however, a number of environmentalists in the region have called on the Egyptian government to take a closer look at what such construction will mean to the ecosystems in the area. They also warned that this use of water is “irresponsible when disputes over water resources remains a tipping point in the country.”
Steve Thomas, an environmental consultant with Friends of the Earth, told Bikya Masr in Washington that Egypt is on the “brink of a major water crisis, so the development of a lagoon like this may be seen by the people as counter-productive, especially when they are not getting enough water on a daily basis.”
The water resources and irrigation ministry has warned in recent years that Egypt will face massive water problems by 2015.
“Let’s hope the government will be able to rectify the population’s concerns as they push forward on this project,” Thomas added.
Reference : bikyamasr.com
Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin