To address the needs of a developing economy, many African nations have invested in massive infrastructure projects to increase the electricity available to homes and businesses. In the 1960s, for instance, Egypt constructed the Aswan Dam, which controlled the flow of the Nile River. This view of the Aswan Dam was provided by astronauts on the International Space Station in 2002.

Photograph courtesy Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA-Johnson Space Center, crew of International Space Station Expedition 25
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    On July 21, 1970, engineers completed the Aswan Dam in southern Egypt. The Aswan Dam was an enormous project, lasting more than 10 years and costing more than a billion dollars. 
     
    The Aswan Dam controls the flow of the Nile River. The dam protects people living near the banks of the Nile from both floods and drought. The constant, regulated flow of water helps farmers irrigate their crops all year. The structure is also a hydroelectric dam, providing electricity used in homes, schools, businesses, and hospitals throughout Egypt. 
     
    The Aswan Dam created a huge reservoir, called Lake Nasser. Lake Nasser and expansion of the Nile behind the dam displaced more than 50,000 people in Egypt and Sudan. The dam also drowned priceless archaeological sites. The Egyptian government famously relocated features from one of these sites—colossal monuments of Pharaoh Ramses II—to a nearby hill before the site was flooded.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    agriculture Noun

    the art and science of cultivating the land for growing crops (farming) or raising livestock (ranching).

    Encyclopedic Entry: agriculture
    archaeological site Noun

    place where evidence of the past is being studied by scientists.

    archaeologist Noun

    person who studies artifacts and lifestyles of ancient cultures.

    bank Noun

    a slope of land adjoining a body of water, or a large elevated area of the sea floor.

    colossal Adjective

    gigantic or huge.

    constant Adjective

    unchanging or continuous.

    crop Noun

    agricultural produce.

    Encyclopedic Entry: crop
    dam Noun

    structure built across a river or other waterway to control the flow of water.

    detail Noun

    small part of a larger organism, activity, or product.

    displace Verb

    to remove or force to evacuate.

    drought Noun

    period of greatly reduced precipitation.

    Encyclopedic Entry: drought
    electricity Noun

    set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and flow of electric charge.

    engineer Noun

    person who plans the building of things, such as structures (construction engineer) or substances (chemical engineer).

    enormous Adjective

    very large.

    expansion Noun

    process of enlarging.

    feature Noun

    non-portable archaeological remains, such as pyramids or post-holes.

    flood Noun

    overflow of a body of water onto land.

    Encyclopedic Entry: flood
    government Noun

    system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

    hydroelectric dam Noun

    structure built across a river or other waterway that generates electricity by controlling the flow of water that passes through it.

    hygiene Noun

    science and methods of keeping clean and healthy.

    industry Noun

    activity that produces goods and services.

    irrigate Verb

    to water.

    monument Noun

    large structure representing an event, idea, or person.

    regulate Verb

    to determine and administer a set of rules for an activity.

    relocate Verb

    to move a residence or business from one place to another.

    reservoir Noun

    natural or man-made lake.

    Encyclopedic Entry: reservoir
    temple Noun

    building used for worship.