Northern Sudan dam ‘will destabilise region’

People who claim to be affected by the building of a large dam in northern Sudan have warned the government against starting the construction.

People who claim to be affected by the building of a large dam in northern Sudan have warned the government against commencing construction.

Committees in River Nile State submitted a memorandum to the local authorities on Monday, protesting Khartoum’s intention to construct El Shereik dam. The committee members announced that they will arrange public meetings in a number of villages that are likely to be affected by the construction of El Shereik.

Member Fadlallah Gador said that the memo expresses the committees’ unequivocal rejection of the dam. He pledged to work with other people who are affected by the Dal and Kajbar dams in Northern State. “Our memo warns the local authorities that the region will be destabilised if El Shereik dam is established.” 

Gador pointed to the Merowe Dam, with a length of 174 kilometres, that started working in 2010 and doubled Sudan's electricity generation capacity. More than 50,000 people, however, were displaced from the fertile Nile Valley to arid desert locations, according to International Waters. Most of them are from the Manaseer tribe, and in spite of numerous protests they staged, the affected people still await compensation by the government.

For years, the Merowe and other dam projects have witnessed opposition from people who claim to be affected by them. Recently, the security service prevented mass gatherings of the Kajbar, Dal, and El Sheireik dam demonstrators in Khartoum.