Letter handwritten in Arabic script. In the late 19th century, the growth of population and agricultural production in the lower Nile Valley led to the decision to build a dam acros the river at Aswan. This would both better control the masive annual Nile floods for irrigation and provide hydro-electric power for industry. The dam was built by the British with some of the foremost engineers of the period, including Willcocks, Baker and Aird involved in the project. Construction was completed in 1902, but the dam's height was further raised in 1907-1912 and 1929-1934. Even after this the dam ultimately proved inadequate for its purpose, leading to the building of the much larger Aswan High Dam in the 1960s.
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