The Comparing and Contrasting of Snails of the Nil

eDanny Moir Core: 1 and 2
12/15/04Essay
The Nile River is a river that winds through Africa into the
Mediterranean Sea. The Nile River is considered to be the river of life for
both people and wildlife. People who live along the river have the highest
rate of bladder cancer. The Schistosoma Haematobium or blood fluke, which
is carried by a snail called the Bulinus Truncatus, infects many people who
live along the river. There is a parasitic worm which burrows into blood
vessels of the human bladder.

The Aswan High dam was built in the mid 1950s by the Egyptian
government. It was built to conserve water and provide hydroelectric power.

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The purpose was to improve the quality of life for people living along the
Nile. When the construction started people didn’t realize that making
better use of the river water would endanger human health.

This is what the ecosystem was like below the dam. A network of
canals was built. The canals acted like slow moving streams which is the
perfect environment for the bulinus snail. The slow moving streams mean
more plant life there. The snails are what carry the blood fluke which gets
people infected when they go in or drink the water. As a result 80 percent
of the people were infected and now have the blood fluke.

This is what the ecosystem was like above the dam. The hippopotami
were once abundant in the waters. They ate the vegetation where the snails
live. By eating the plants the hippos kept the population of snails under
control. After the construction of the dam the rising waters forced the
hippos out. As a result this means there are more snails and the infection
increasing.

These are the similarities between above and below the dam. A
similarity is that the infection increased in humans. A second similarity
is that there was an increase in the amount of snails. A third similarity
is the increase in vegetation which means an increase in food for the
snails. The last similarity is that the snails carry the blood fluke.

These are the differences between above and below the dam. One
difference is the water. As the water got higher more plants grew and
snails came because the hippos left. A second difference is the canals. The
canals slow the water and more plants can grow.

The question remains as to whether the dam improved the life of the
people along the Nile River.