Call on Merowe Dam

Monday, May 18, 2009

A National, Regional, and International Call
To obviate the Ominous Hazards of Mirwi Dam
The Political Corporation for Crisis Management, the People Committee for resisting Kajbar Dam, the Nubian Corporation for Development and the Resistance of Dal Dam, the Executive Committee of Manasir People affected by Mirwi Dam, the Executive Committee of Amri People affected by Mirwi Dam, the Provisional Committee for resisting Mugrat Dam, the Provisional Committee for resisting Dagash Dam, the Provisional Committee for resisting al-Shireik Dam
Khartoum 18/5/2009

The situation in the Mirwi dammed area is very critical as the water has kept rising above the contour 300 which was supposed to be the highest limit of the reservoir according to the operating programme of the dam. The close monitoring of the water level since 1/4/2009 has shown that the water has risen from the contour 300, i.e. up to the brim of the dam lake, and reached on 1/5/2009 the contour 305. Latest news from the region has revealed that the water had even risen above the contour of 305. According to the operating programme of the dam, it is supposed to be at 292 in April and May. Attached is the operating programme of the Mirwi dam (source: the Nile River State, the Commission of the Mirwi Dam affected People, January 2007, The preliminary Repor t, prepared by YAM for Development & Consultation Co. P. 3).

The fact that the water has risen above the determined programme of the dam raises a host of fears of potentially serious hazards such as causing damages to the basement construction of the dam, the possible collapse of it, causing the water to overflow, causing land sliding of the parapet extending from the dam walls. Furthermore this incomprehensible increase has caused the ;ocal option Manasir to believe that they might have been a target of a hideous conspiracy hatched in the corridors of the government as represented in the Dam Implementation Unit aimed at compelling them to evacuate their homeland.

The Dam Implementation Unit (DIU) used to be under the authority of a technical ministry that is of Irrigation and Water Resources until it had been put it under the direct authority of the Presidency in 1999. In 2007 the Presidential Decree No. 217 was issued upon which the small unit was promoted into a Presidential department responsible for the building of all dams in the Sudan, hence the Dam Implementation Unit (DIU). The DIU has been launched with an interim law of its own that immunes it from l itigation and auditing. Since then building dams has been politicized to the extent that a number of specialist and experts feared that this might have compromised the professionalism and technicality of dam building.

Hereby we raise the concern, asking the government to make the information pertaining to the operating programme of the Mirwi dam a public knowledge rather than keeping it as classified information. If the dam is running according to an operating programme other than the mentioned above, we urgently demand the government to publicize it. If it is not running according to its determined programme, we strongly demand the government to declare this serious matter and to raise high the alarm and take the preventive measures deemed necessary.

The assumed Dam operating Programme:

Month / Water level:

Jan:    299
Feb:    297
March:    294
April:    292
May:    292
June:    290
July:    290
Aug:    290
Sept:    295
Oct:    300
Nov:    300
Dec:    300