Cleaning Up the Wadi

Photo: Maha Khalil

Photo: Maha Khalil

By Maha Khalil

 

Last fall, we, the Bioclub – chaperoned by our dedicated faculty advisor, Mr. Richard Hoath, and aided by the Environmental Awareness Association – organized a trash pick-up in Wadi Degla Protectorate on the edge of Maadi.

If you don’t know what the Wadi Degla Protectorate is, it is a very long valley that was once a riverbed thousands of years ago. The whole protectorate has an area of about 60 square km and is home to about 70 species of animals, including the Nubian  ibex, dorcas gazelles and fennec foxes plus a surprising variety of desert plants. But facts aside, Degla is a very peaceful, serene place that provides a scenic and relax

Photo: Maha Khalil

Photo: Maha Khalil

ing outing away from the noise pollution of the city, as well as room for joggers and mountain bikers to exercise. Also, there is a particularly beautiful spot just below the visitors’ centre where the valley narrows into a very small “crack” through which you can climb to a higher level of the valley (see pictures) and get some panoramic scenes of the valley. This “crack,” which may have been a waterfall, is beautifully shaped by the movement of water in ancient times and contains holes that fill up with water when there is rainfall, providing a source of water for birds and animals in the region.

Sadly, however, although the vall

Photo: Ali Fahmi

Photo: Ali Fahmi

ey was declared a protectorate in 1999, marble factories have been built in the buffer zone of the protectorate and are disturbing the environment. Also, plastic bags flying in from the city collect in the narrow parts of the valley and get tangled in the plant branches. And this is why c

Photo: Ali Fahmi

Photo: Ali Fahmi

leanups are helpful.

On the Bioclub’s last visit, we collected a large amount of plastic bags (see pictures) and transported them back to Cairo for disposal. Of course, this means that the bags could fly back to the valley. We are now considering ways to take the garbage to a recycling factory.

On our trip, we also visited a bat cave a

Photo: Ali Fahmi

Photo: Ali Fahmi

nd were welcomed by little insect-eating bats flying into us in the dark, and we made friends with a fan-footed gecko. If you would like to join us next time, look out for our fliers!

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One Response to “Cleaning Up the Wadi”

  1. Elaine Edwardson Says:

    I wanted to express the pleasure I received reading your article on the Egyptian Weasel. One popped into my apartment for a visit this morning, and even paused to sniff my ankle, before trotting off. I then researched to discover ‘who’ my visitor had been.

    I would also like to join any clean ups!! I have participated in a few throughout the sinai area.

    Have a lovely day

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