President Anwar Sadat of Egypt on Tuesday (27 November) inaugurated the first stage of the "Peace Canal" which will eventually help to reclaim six hundred thousand acres (243,000 hectares) of land on both sides of the Suez Canal.
GV Construction work on north east of Nile delta at Matareya (2 shots)
SV Egyptian President Anwar Sadat arrives at Matareya Lake to lay foundation stone of canal project as people cheer (2 shots)
SV President Sadat aboard yacht going down Nile and waving to people on river bank (3 shots)
SV President Sadat waving to people on bank and in small boats (2 shots)
SV Egyptian Marines in rubber dinghies alongside Presidential boat
GV President Sadat's yacht entering harbour and President waves to fishermen (2 shots)
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Background: President Anwar Sadat of Egypt on Tuesday (27 November) inaugurated the first stage of the "Peace Canal" which will eventually help to reclaim six hundred thousand acres (243,000 hectares) of land on both sides of the Suez Canal.
SYNOPSIS: Work on the canal has already begun. The project is named after the Camp David peace accord between Egypt and Israel -- although engineers constructing the canal said there were no plans to use the water to irrigate the Israeli controlled Negev Desert. President Sadat laid the foundation stone for the project at Matareya, a point where a channel will be built to carry water from the Eastern Damietta branch of the Nile delta to Lake Matareya -- a vast expanse of marshland on the edge of the Mediterranean.
After the ceremony, President Sadat sailed from the canal site to the port of Matareya, accompanied by a flotilla of small boats. Eventually the canal water will be filtered through dykes on the lake, some 320 kilometres (200 miles) north east of Cairo, and be released at the Suez Canal about fifty kilometres (30 miles) south of Port Said. The new canal is one of a number of projects to increase arable land in Egypt where the population of 41 million grows by more than one million a year.
The first stage of the scheme, is expected to reclaim two hundred thousand acres (81,000 hectares) and to cost 150 million Egyptian pounds (200 million U.S. dollars). The second stage will take water under the canal and pipe it to the Sinai coastal strip running up to El Arish, along which a further four hundred thousand acres (162,000 hectares) will be reclaimed.