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Sudan farmers: ‘El Gezira irrigation scheme deliberately sabotaged’

February 12 - 2020 EL GEZIRA
Protest from farmers from the El Gezira and El Managil Scheme in December 2019 (Social media)
Protest from farmers from the El Gezira and El Managil Scheme in December 2019 (Social media)

The Alliance of Farmers of El Gezira and El Managil Agricultural Scheme accuses remnants of the ousted Al Bashir regime of trying to thwart the winter harvest in the irrigation scheme. The farmers experience a shortage of water.

The farmers’ alliance stressed the need to stop irrigation beyond the borders of the El Gezira and El Managil Agricultural Scheme area.

Yesterday, leading member of the farmers’ alliance and member of the Emergency Committee Farouq El Badawi said at a press conference at the El Ayyam Centre for Cultural Studies and Development that the Emergency Committee found 100,000 acres of sand during its tour.

He also said that water supplies were cut after the committee visited certain areas. He called it “a deliberate plan to thwart the harvest” and said this plan would fail.

He pointed out that the main damage has been limited to the northwestern area of Abu Gouta.

El Gezira and El Managil Agricultural Scheme, located between the Blue and White Niles south of Khartoum, used to be one of the world’s largest irrigation projects.

In late 2014, President Al Bashir described the Scheme as “a burden on the country’s budget”. In September 2015, the Agriculture Ministry amended the El Gezira Scheme Act, aimed at transferring land ownership to the private sector and foreign investors. That same year the Farmers Union was disbanded by the Al Bashir regime.

In December 2019 the El Gezira and El Managil Farmers Alliance launched a rally to commemorate the founding of Sudan’s Farmers Union in December 1953. The demonstrators also demanded that the extensive irrigation project be revived.


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