“>statement by the Manasir Executive Committee, released July 31, states: “An acute dispute occurred between the Manasir and the Dam Implementation Unit when the latter denied the Manasir their right to be resettled on their lands around the lake, and insisted on executing a plan to evacuate them all from their lands around the lake to desert locations in order to appropriate their lands for undisclosed purposes.”
The US$1.8 billion dam is being built by China’s CCMD consortium with the assistance of European companies Lahmeyer (Germany) and Alstom (France). It is he largest such project on the Nile since the Aswan high dam was built in Egypt in the 1960s.
Information out of the area remains difficult to confirm. The United Nations Mission in Sudan/Human Rights has been denied access to the area for the past two years. Journalists and independent observers are frequently prevented from travelling to the dam region, and the community leaders have reported that they were prevented from publishing their appeal for assistance in Sudanese newspapers.
For the past year, the communities have been putting in place an emergency plan in anticipation that the dam authorities might try to flood them out of their homes. Some sites have been prepared and those forced out of their homes are being provided with temporary shelter, food provisions, and fodder for their animals so long as supplies last. However, the Manasir are calling for solidarity from the international community, both through donations to buy medicines and food locally and through publicity for their plight.
View footage of the villages being flooded from Al Jazeera news agency (in Arabic)