It is often said that the most beautiful and critical of the resources are generally the ones that we completely chose to ignore and generally tend to gain their values only when they are no longer available. In a world, where gold which might have quite a minimal usage except for jewellery is fought upon whereas the very commodity that sustains our life be it air or water is exploited wantonly, this is not really something to be surprised about. However, the exploits of human that sometimes truly baffle me are when we go even to the step to defile or destroy something that even our ancestors had with their limited knowledge believed to be useful and had decided to create or sustain it to the best of their knowledge and capabilities. Yes, I am talking about maybe the lifeline of almost all our countries, the rivers, and the many tendrils that protrudes from it like veins through our fields and green spaces made by our ancestors to assure that the life-giving properties of the river do not only stay limited to a few sets of people blessed on being close to the same but be equally divided among every one everywhere. Yes, I am talking about canals. Lets now see why are these two one natures made and one made by a man truly something we should a lot of our attention and importance to.
In order to make It simple, I will take you through multiple reasons mounting to the extreme ends of the spectrum stretching from necessity to luxury on why the presence of rivers and its intertwining canals are not only beneficial for the mankind but beneficial even.
Let us start with the very basic need of the Maslow’s pyramid and will move up in order. Let us start from the phycological needs. This stems from the fact that rivers and canals are the founts of food productions. Be it the flood plains of Australia to the plains of Ganga India it is the river that flows through them that have made it so fertile. Even our ancestors from as old as the prehistoric civilizations always made sure that the cities were built along the coasts of rivers in order to make sure there was never a shortage of produce and food, one of the most important factors in the early days. Rivers not only break the soil and rock around it to the finest particles it makes it smoother and much more permeable starting off the chain of a huge ecosystem that contains the tiniest of the organisms being the earthworm who creates numerous holes in the soil to make it more aerated and thus more fertile to the largest of the animals who depend on the rivers for their livelihood. The same is true for the canals as being the extension of the rivers it helps to spread the benefits as mentioned above across the country and helps to create a much better and sustainable environment.
Let us now move to the second rung of the pyramid. That is the need for safety. Well, here the canals play an even more vital role with the safety of all the water born places. As it not only does the benefits as discussed previously but also acts as an output for various large rivers thus reducing the intensity of the floods by distributing the extra water across the various regions. And though we in the UK might not completely understand the disastrous effects that a full-blown flood is capable of doing well, it is said that one of the most advanced civilizations of the world the Indus Valley civilization was wiped away from the earth due to floods. Even now in many underdeveloped countries like Bangladesh this is still a regular occurrence and claims a lot of lives almost every year. On a different note even though these floods might make the river look in a bit of a negative light but we should understand thus rivers by creating the fertile soil and a huge plant growth; as a result, itself helps us to stop these soils from erosion both air and water and also works as an embankment to contain the severity of the floods. It is when incessant deforestation leads to the removal of these natural barriers that the floods take the severe nature as we talked about
Let us lastly move on to the top of the pyramid to the need for self-actualization. One of the most beautiful heritage that we still have in our long-standing history are the canals which not only provide us with the sustenance but also are one of the most important places and views for every tourism industry. The great river of Thames and the many canals that dot our countryside add up to the rich heritage that we have fought so hard to preserve. Not only that the presence of such beautiful and beneficial water bodies increases the value of the land around it making on an average a land close to such a water body at least 20 percent more valuable in price than any other land that lacks such natural surroundings.
To summarize all this, it is undeniable the myriads of opportunities and benefits that the various water bodies ranging from the rivers to the canals bring to us. It is the lifeline to many of our surrounding countryside and not only adds up to their sustenance but adds up to their beauty as well. Though through strong government handling the canal systems of our country has revived to its earlier grandeur and is now the pride of our land we should make sure they are continuously financially backed enough to never fall in a state of disarray because that will inversely affect us. As said in the legendary movie “Book of Eli” in its dystopian future “We now fight for the resources we once used to throw away. I hope we never reach that future and it is upon us to see that we never do
WordPress (2012). ‘FloodPlain Farmland are so Fertile because of river Floods’
Dhaka Tribune (2018). ‘Preservation of Rivers and Canals can reduce Water Logging’
Ben Johnson (2018). ‘The Canals of Britain’
Michael FassBender (2008). ‘The Importance of River Valleys’
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