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Sudanese farmers held for working dam land

August 25 - 2016 KASSALA STATE
File photo: Setit dam
File photo: Setit dam

Police have arrested 15 inhabitants of villages in the area of the Atbara and Setit dams complex in eastern Sudan, for working land from which they were previously removed.

On Tuesday, police in Kassala state held 15 farmers on the agricultural land that the government has removed from them earlier in return for compensation not exceeding SDG2,500 ($410) per acre.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga on Wednesday, residents described the conditions in the villages as miserable because of constant interruptions in water and electricity services, lack of health services, and houses built from materials that cannot protect them from summer heat and winter cold.

They also complained that latrines have been built without taking health standards into account, which leads to the spread of flies, and are the source of bad smells. They demand that the government to review the building of houses and toilets in accordance with proper health standards and specifications.

Relocation

In February 2015, the largest relocation operation in Sudan caused by the construction of dams commenced. By mid-March last year, tens of thousands of people living near the site of the Atbara and Setit (or Seteet) Dam Complex in Kassala state were moved.

One of the affected residents complained to Radio Dabanga at the time that the dam complex management began flooding their lands without keeping its commitments towards the population. Compensation promised to herders and shopkeepers in the area was delayed.

The dam project is also supposed to create some ten million acres of new farmland in Kassala state and neighbouring El Gedaref state, at a cost $840 million, according to the dams’ chief engineer.


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