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Sudan Parliamentary Committee summons former SAEC director over waste dump

November 23 - 2015 KHARTOUM
File photo: The Merowe Dam in Sudan's Northern State (english.people.com.cn)
File photo: The Merowe Dam in Sudan's Northern State (english.people.com.cn)

Dr Hayat El Mahdi, Director of the Energy Committee in the Sudanese Parliament, confirms that her Committee has summoned the former Director of the Sudan Atomic Energy Commission (SAEC), Dr Mohamed Siddig, to appear before it.

Dr Siddig said at a conference in Khartoum earlier this month that 60 containers with nuclear waste were brought from China to Sudan during the construction of the Merowe Dam in the Northern State. He told the audience that 40 containers were buried in the desert not far from the Merowe Dam construction site. Another 20 containers were disposed of in the desert. He did not mention the date the waste was dumped, however China worked on the dam between 2004 and 2009.

In a press statement on Saturday, Dr El Mahdi said that the Minister of Electricity and Dams, Moataz Mousa, acknowledged at a special meeting of the Committee, that 40 containers had been buried in a well-covered cement hole. However Mousa asserts that they contain the remnants of building materials, buckets, and cement bags used to build the Merowe dam, rather than toxic waste.

Dr El Mahdi added that she has asked the Ministry of Electricity and Dams to enable her to visit to the burial sites of the containers. She pointed out that she intends to go with a number of scientists, open the hole, and examine what’s inside.

She acknowledged that there is a problem with the disposal of chemical waste in the country. She said that the price for an incinerator is equivalent to Sudan’s budget for three years.


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