Sudanese displaced by Merowe Dam demand compensation
Hundreds of people displaced by the construction of the Merowe Dam seven years ago, demonstrated in Makaberab, River Nile state in northern Sudan, on Wednesday. They demand compensation for their losses.
The protesters gathered at the main square of Village 3, one of the villages in El Makaberab, to where they were relocated from El Manaseer villages that were flooded by the dam. They chanted slogans against the Dams Implementation Unit and the Sudanese government.
Speakers at the mass rally urged the demonstrators to continue with their protests, as “without such pressure, the government will continue to ignore our demands”.
The displaced, most of them Manaseer tribesmen, have repeatedly submitted their claims to the authorities. Their main demand concerns the reconsideration of the decision by a government committee not to pay compensation for their losses seven years ago.
They also demand the provision of clean drinking water at their new settlements, and the allocation of lands destined for agricultural projects.
The authorities of River Nile state reacted by requesting the protesters to grant them time until Thursday, to consider their demands and offer a solution, activist Mohamed El Nazeer told Dabanga. He stressed that “the protests will not stop until all our demands for justice are fulfilled”.
Locally known as the Hamadab Dam, the Merowe Dam is one of the largest dams in Africa. The project, officially launched in 2010, doubled Sudan’s electricity generation, but displaced more than 50,000 people from the Nile Valley to arid desert locations. Protests were violently suppressed.
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