A huge fire in the palm-rich Northern State destroyed hundreds of palm trees on Sai island, north of Abri, on Sunday.
The fire in Adu started in the palm trees north of the village in the afternoon, and then moved to the west. The cause of the fire is still unknown.
Activists have called on the Sudanese government to look into whether the fire was arson and to expand safety measures. They demand the deployment of more civil defence units in the area along the agricultural strip adjacent to the banks of the Nile.
The population of the Northern State is largely dependent on palm dates for its income, but has suffered from fires to the palm plantations since 2006. Local activists suspect arson and in the past pointed to the fact that the Nubian population rejects the construction of the large-scale Kajbar dam in the area.
As the government is planning to build the Dal, Kajbar, and El Shireik hydro dams in the area, they are trying to eliminate the palm trees to ensure a low compensation for the palm owners, is the reason the activists suspect.
According to statistics from the Nubian Development Committee, about 250,000 palms have been burned between 2005 and 2016. The government does not publicly keep track of statistics on the number of burned palm trees.
A fire broke out and destroyed more than 100 palm trees in December last year while in August, more than 1,000 trees went up in flames in El Debba locality. In July, large tracts of orchards burned to the ground after a huge fire broke out on Dafi island. The villages of Berga, Masal Island in Dolgo, Nanarti and Sallab also suffered from the damage of fires, with losses estimated at millions of Sudanese pounds, especially in cases during the date harvest.