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Eastern Sudanese leaders demand waste containers’ removal from Merowe Dam area

September 2 - 2016 OMBADDA
File photo: Merowe Dam
File photo: Merowe Dam

The Commissioner of Ombadda, Abdallateef Fedeili and community leaders of the rural locality in western Omdurman demand that containers buried during the construction of the Merowe Dam be removed.

Commissioner Fedeili told Radio Dabanga that the leaders are coordinating with the governor of Khartoum state and the High Council for the Environment, to see that the containers of waste are removed from the western Ombadda countryside.

Omda Ali Mohamed said they were told that the waste was harmless and buried in "a scientific way", but they"have been deceived".

Toxic

As reported by Radio Dabanga last year, according to the former director of the Sudan Atomic Energy Commission in Sudan, Mohamed Siddig, 60 containers of alleged toxic waste - most probably from nuclear plants in China - were brought to Sudan, together with construction materials and machinery for the building of the Merowe Dam in the northern part of Sudan.

The Merowe Dam, known locally as the Hamdab Dam, is located near the Nile’s fourth cataract. It was completed by Chinese, French, and German companies in 2009, and largely funded by China and Arab financiers. The project doubled Sudan’s electricity generating capacity, but displaced more than 50,000 people from the Nile Valley to arid desert locations.

Siddig said at the time that about 40 containers were buried in the desert not far from the Merowe Dam construction site. Another 20 containers were also disposed in the desert, though not buried.

Committee

In June this year, a fact-finding committee formed by the Sudanese Minister of Justice concluded its investigation by reporting “the absence of any chemicals or radioactive substances at Merowe Dam area”.

The committee chairman, consultant Muawya Eisa reported that “all the measurements of radiation levels were found to be in the natural limits and indicating the non-presence of artificial radiation”.

He said that the only chemicals found were oils, lubricants, and plastic bags.


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