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Northern Sudanese groups reject large-scale dams

November 13 - 2017 KHARTOUM
The large-scale dam projects in Sudan (image by International Rivers)
The large-scale dam projects in Sudan (image by International Rivers)

People in northern Sudan submitted a memorandum rejecting the construction of large-scale dams to the Sudanese Parliament on Sunday.

Native committees consisting of residents and members of the Nubian community who live along the Nile in northern Sudan also raised the memorandum to the Ministry of Electricity, Irrigation and Water resources.

The move comes after the announcement by the Minister of Irrigation, one month ago, that the construction of the proposed Dal, Shireik and Kajbar dams will commence next year.

The committees pointed out that they handed over the memo, refusing the dams to be established, to the National Assembly and the Ministry of Electricity. The document pointed out that the Ministry still insists on the construction of the dams, despite the government's knowledge of the people's rejection.


Over the years the government of Sudan has developed plans to increase the provision of power by the construction of a number of extra dams in northern and eastern Sudan. In February this year, the operation of the first turbine of the Upper Atbara-Setit Dam Complex in the El Gedaref-Kassala border area was inaugurated by the Sudanese president.

The 30,000 families displaced by the mega-project complain of high rates of unemployment and poverty because of the government’s non-commitment to compensate the damages to their farmlands.

In 2016 the government agreed to construct the Kajbar, Dal, and Shireik dams at cataracts of the Nile after passing a framework agreement with Saudi Arabia on 19 January 2016, which committed to inject millions for the construction.

Protesters against these dams have been detained by the Sudanese security service on multiple occassions. According to the NGO International Rivers the Kajbar Dam will displace more than 10,000 people and submerge an estimated 500 archaeological sites. The Dal Dam, on the second cataract, will displace at least 5,000 people.

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