Northern Sudan greenery (Image: ahmed007 www.skyscrapercity.com)
Al Bawga is a semi-island located in northern Sudan at the Nile River Province. I was fortunate enough to be invited by a work colleague and a dear friend to that region of Sudan of which I have not heard of until this moment.
So we started our journey on a Thursday afternoon, we left work using our company’s bus which drops workers at various locations between Al Shigla and Berber city. We left the bus at Tinga police check where we boarded a travel bus heading to Al Ebeedyah, our next stop, which is also an interesting place as we will soon find out.
Al Ebeedyah was our penultimate stop. This was the place where we cross the river Nile to Al Bawga. Although I was excited to reach Al Bawga, Al Ebeedyah was the heart of the gold rush and I had no clue until that moment as well. As we started to proceed towards its central market we saw excavators, loaders and pickup trucks in bulk quantities. I asked my friend as to why the large numbers of heavy machinery and the answer was obviously as stated before that this is where most of the raw-gold in Sudan is sold due to the fact that the gold hunting takes place in nearby locations.
We deviated from our main subject due to the fascination of Al Ebeedyah as well but let us get back to our main journey.
We embarked on a small motorized boat – “lanch” as pronounced by the locals – to cross the river Nile.
Finally we arrived at our destination. We used a rickshaw to commence our journey to my friend’s house. However to my astonishment this was the journey of my life.
A 150 year old row of palm trees stood to our left and right, a green carpet of grass swayed with a cool breeze that was contradicting the 45 degrees Celsius temperature at Al Ebeedyah.
Later I came to realise that Al Bawga agricultural project took place in that island during the British colonization of Sudan. The astonishing greenery in the middle of the desert was provided by huge water pumps the size of a baby elephant. The pumps used the Nile as a source of injecting approximately 100,000 liters of water a day to small tunnels circulating the whole project, which is approximately 100 square kilometers.
I could have included pictures of that beautiful place in this piece but I’d rather each and every person who reads this goes ahead and visits it in person.
Mohammed Farah is a Chemical Engineer at the Berber Cement Plant in Berber.
Green color is always good!
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