Sudan protests against water shortage and gold mines
Residents of New Manaseer in River Nile state staged a protest yesterday morning because they have been cut-off from water for more than a week as a result of power outages. People in Sawarda in Northern State plan protests against the refusal of the governor to close the mining plants in the area.
The protestors in New Manaseer, River Nile state, blocked the national El Tahadi Road south to Ed Damer and raised banners. They demand electricity, so that they will have water to drink and irrigation water for their agricultural projects.
They predicted that their winter crops will fail because of the shortage of irrigation water.
The protestors hold the government of River Nile state, the Zadna International Investment Company, and the Dams Implementation Unit responsible for the water shortage, because of “mismanagement, corruption, and indifference”.
The electricity stations cut off the electricity as the debts of these three institutions reached SDG 16 million ($ 290.170*), one of the protestors explained to Radio Dabanga.
The protestors said the road will be re-opened as the debts are paid and the electricity has been restored.
In Northern State, the Six-Party Committee for Resistance to Mining Damage in Sawadra plans to intensify their protests after state governor Lt Gen Hashim Abdelmutalab refused to implement the decision of the Sudanese Ministry of Energy and Mining to gradually close the Sawadra mines.
Spokesman Wael Hasan told Radio Dabanga that the committee is holding meetings with villagers and other committees to decide about future protests.
“The governor said in a meeting with the Sawarda Six-Party Committee on Monday that he will not close the mines. He used the pretext that a group of people living in the area wants the mines it to be there,” activist Hasan said. “When we protested, he replied by saying: ‘If you are men, then block the road’.”
The Six-Party Committee in Northern State has been protesting against environmental damage caused by mining for years.
A month ago, the Ministry decided that mining waste close to residential areas in South Kordofan must be removed by the mining companies.
The security committee of El Fasher locality in North Darfur suspended traditional mining in Jafina village in the rural area of Turra. The village people had complained about the effects of the use of highly toxic cyanide in gold exploration.
Mohamed Shumein, Shartai (tribal chief) of El Kheir and Omda (community leader) of Turra, said that the mining operations have destroyed most of the pastures and polluted all water sources in the area. Dozens of animals died.
The security committee decided to suspend the mining activities in order “to ward off the risks of traditional mining, and to preserve the health and social fabric in the area”.
The executive director of El Fasher locality, Abdelrahim Ahmedei, met with the affected villagers in Jafina. He ordered that the mining site be evacuated immediately, and promised that basic services will be provided in the area.
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