The largest waterwheel in Egypt is located in Basiouniya village 14 km east of Fayoum city. It rises 8 meters high and weighs more than 2 tons. This waterwheel is providing 88 feddans (37 Hectares) of cultivated lands with fresh water and its cost is 50000 EGP.
The waterwheel is maintained yearly during the low – flow season in mid-January and it needs to be changed every six years. During the time of reinstalling new ones, celebrations are held by the locals to commemorate this joyous moment as it considers a prominent source of economic aid for them.
Fayoum has more than 200 Waterwheels which are scattered throughout its depression. Since the Greco Roman era, these waterwheels have kept the Fayoum well-irrigated despite its irregular topography. The waterwheels are made of special white wood called (Azizy), some parts are made of Casuarina wood and it takes 7-10 days to be made. The peasants of the Fayoum call it “Taboot” as to differentiate between it and the normal Sakia which is driven by animals.
Now the Waterwheels are considered as an iconic landmark of the Fayoum. Tourists can take a look at these magnificent irrigation machines by strolling through Fayoum’s streets!
Installation photos courtesy of Rohym Photography