The government of Sudan represented by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok recently issued a decision to cancel the construction of Dal and Kajbar dam projects in Sudan, along the Nile River near the border with Egypt, in response to the local rejection of the projects that were approved during the reign of President Omar Al-Bashir.
While addressing the people of the Nuba region during a visit to the city of Kidintakar, Hamdok emphasized that all major projects on River Nile ought to be subjected to economic, social, and environmental studies, in which local communities would be, “original partner in the decision-making process and the gains emanating from the projects.”
“The northern Sudanese states have been largely marginalized in all development plans in the past. Now, it is about time for all local communities to be part of any decision [to carry out projects] and to benefit from the revenues of these projects,” said the Sudanese prime minister.
The controversy around the two projects
When first unveiled the dam projects triggered mass protests from local communities, who feared that the two dam projects would drown all Nubian areas and archaeological sites south of Halfa to Dongola and destroy more than 600 archaeological sites, some dating back to the Stone Age.
At the beginning of last year, the Sudanese government and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front rebel alliance signed an agreement on the northern track that called for new studies for proposed dams in the Nile, compensation for people displaced by dams that are already built, the construction of new roads, and the burial of electronic and nuclear waste in Northern State.
This agreement which resulted in the cancelation of the Dal and Kajbar dam projects ended 17 years of conflict in the southern states of South Kordofan and the Blue Nile.