Eastern Sudan dam displaced still await compensation
The people relocated because of the construction of the Atbara and Setit dam complex in Kassala in eastern Sudan last year, are demanding compensation.
Abdelkarim Mohamed Saleh of Village Three for the displaced in neighbouring El Gedaref told Radio Dabanga that 25 percent of the people eligible for compensation have not been compensated thus far.
He further said that half of the farmers in the area have not been compensated for the loss of their agricultural lands that have been turned into residential areas for the newly displaced.
The displaced have demanded the investigation committee that will begin its work later this month to complete the compensation for the houses, stores, and agricultural lands lost to the dams.
Saleh accused the inventory committees of being unfair. “The residents of some villages have not been compensated at all.”
The hydroelectric generating plant connected to the Upper Atbara and Setit (Seteet) dam complex in eastern Sudan is scheduled to start operating in June this year.
The new power project costs about $1.3 billion and is financed by Sudan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, China, and Algeria. The new power project will add 320 megawatts to the national grid, as it seeks to meet a demand of 2,500 megawatts.
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.
In February last year, the largest relocation operation in Sudan caused by the construction of dams commenced. By mid-March, tens of thousands of people living near the site of the dam complex in Kassala State were relocated.
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 location of the Atbara and Setit dam complex in eastern Sudan