The aim is to tackle desertification, unemployment and poverty by creating job opportunities, attracting investments and controlling migration.
Flooding the Chott El Jerid to create an inland sea in the middle of the Sahara Desert. This is to be achieved by building a canal connecting the chott to the north edge of the Gulf of Gabes, so as to inundate and make navigable the whole area.
Waters from the canal would pour out into the flatland and flood it to the full. Excavating sites would be set up where the surface is not adequately below sea level, thus allowing proper flooding of those areas and their suitability for fish-farming, tourism, salt pans, marine labs.
Production key point: more labour-intensive, less technology-based.
To tap into local manpower and skills means to offer jobs to some 60.000 people, quite a considerable ratio over a total population of 10 million.
A labour-intensive production represents a challenge both on technical and on social terms. Technical: it takes advantage of local know-how and local commodities. Social: rather than on wind turbines, solar panels and oil barrels, it rests on manpower and creates new jobs.
Tunisian know-how and skills are a huge asset in terms of techniques and practices. Thanks to them, the men of the desert have succeeded in creating not just acceptable living standards, but also great cultures and civilizations.
The earth bricks called "Banco" provide for a good example: a mix of straw and clay scrap, moulded into bricks and left to dry-out in the sun.
This technique has been used in the Tunisian village of Matmata, where the dwellings enjoy temperate conditions thanks to this building material.
An age-old knowledge that to this day teaches a lesson on how to make the best use of even the scarcest resource provided for by the Sahara environment