Protest in Sudan capital by Merowe Dam-affected
Dozens of villagers from the Emre area in Sudan’s Northern State staged a protest in front of the Dams Implementation Unit office in Khartoum on Wednesday.
The protesters denounced “the tragic situation” they are living in since they were relocated from their villages near Merowe to the area of Emre during the construction of the Merowe Dam between 2005 and 2009. They demand improvement to the water, health, and education services in their new region.
The Merowe Dam, also known as the Hamadab Dam, was officially launched in 2010. It doubled Sudan’s electricity generation capacity but displaced more than 50,000 people, most of them of the Manaseer tribe, from the Nile Valley to arid desert locations. Protests have been violently suppressed.
Earlier this year, the Manaseer took to the streets in River Nile state, to demand a re-think of a government committee decision not to pay compensation for their losses seven years ago. Their leaders threatened to stop their negotiations with the government. “We will cut the negotiations on the compensation we are entitled to, if the government does not agree to our demands,” a member of the Merowe Dam Victims Association told Radio Dabanga in March.
He said that they were “fed up with the delay by the Sudanese government in meeting its obligations” concerning the completion of land surveys, settlement on arbitration cases, and the rest of the compensation for the properties lost by the construction of the dam.
More than 60 percent of Sudan’s electricity –about 1,250 megawatts– is generated by the Merowe Dam, 350 kilometres north of Khartoum. Two thermal power plants in Khartoum and one in White Nile state produce an additional 800 megawatts.
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