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Stop the Dams and Save Nubia

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Nubian United Benevolent International Association (Nubia) is a non-profit organization geared towards preserving the Nubian heritage, among many other goals. We are reaching out to you as our senator to intercede on behalf of the voiceless Nubian People in Sudan. The government of Sudan with the backing of the Saudi government intends to build three Dams (Dal, Kajbar and Al-Shriak) in northern Sudan. This will result in the destruction of the land to one of the oldest civilizations known to mankind. The followings are the reasons why Nubians and the rest of the world must oppose the construction of Dams in Northern Sudan:-

The Human, Heritage and Cultural Impact

  • The displacement of the indigenous Nubian people against their will into unknown locations.

This will result in the loss of their heritage, language and unique traditions. The tragic Nubian exodus in 1964 upon building the High dam can attest to the grim future that awaits the rest of the Nubians, if these Dams were to be constructed.

  • The destruction of hundreds of towns and villages and millions of homes, schools, hospitals and businesses.
  • The overwhelming rejection of these Dams by the Nubian people, as it brings up the fresh memory of their displacement and forceful relocation from their historical land in Wadi-Halfa to the cancer-ridden Khashm- Algiraba camps, where homes were built using Asbestos for their ceilings and water pipes, resulting in a 250+ cancer cases a year.
  • The World Bank, after much pressure from human rights and environmental activists, finally admitted in the middle 1990’s that throughout its history of financing big projects not in a single case where indigenous people had to be relocated due to these projects did they prosper and develop. On the contrary it showed clear and direct socio-economic deterioration in the affected groups after being separated from their historical lands.
  • In September 2007 the General Assembly of the United Nations in response to the World Bank reports and many other violations against the indigenous people worldwide, has passed a Declaration on The rights of Indigenous People that has 46 Articles. Article 10 reads

“Indigenous peoples shall not be forcibly removed from their lands or territories. No relocation shall take place without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples concerned and after agreement on just and fair compensation and, where possible, with the option of return.”

The Archeological impact

  • The inundation and destruction of more than 900 archeological sites that gives way to history once and for all despite the fact that the excavation process is still going on in some of these sites.
  • Many renowned archeologists such as Charles Bonnet, Timothy Kendall and Richard Lobban have excavated archeological evidence that Kerma - capital of Kush - was indeed one of the oldest and most influential cities in ancient Africa. “Archaeology in Sudan is getting ready for a boom,” this statement was made by Geoff Emberling, an archaeologist from the University of Michigan.

“We hope to excavate further and deeper and find still more of the missing pieces of this ancient puzzle,” this statement was made by Mr. Lobban. The Nubian ancient history belongs to humanity and to the world, not to the morally bankrupt regime in Sudan.

The Ecological impact

  • The huge negative impact of these Dams on the ecosystems in northern Sudan, as the building of these proposed dams in Dal, Kajbar and Al-Shraik will create the biggest man made series of lakes in the world. That would stretch across 500 kilometers.
  • The inundation of 2 million acres of one of the most fertile agricultural land on earth. That was formed gradually over thousands of years on both sides of the river Nile.
  • The inundation and destructions of millions of Date Trees that has been the landmark of the Nubian’s land since the beginning of time.
  • The poor and the insignificant proposed energy production of these Dams against the permanent destruction that they will cause, as these Dams will produce only a total of 750 megawatts which could have been easily obtained through many ecosystem friendly means and renewable energy sources i.e. Turbine winds and Solar energy, which would cost much less to build with no impact whatsoever.

The economic impact

  • The government of Sudan failed to produce any studies that prove the feasibility and economic viability of these projects.
  • The government track records on these mega projects have shown complete failure, especially in the building of Maroie Dam in 2008, and the building of the High Dam in 1959 ( even though the high dam was under another totalitarian regime). The undertaking of these projects is used as a gateway for corruption and solicitation of international funds for special interest groups at least in the case of Maroie Dam.
  • The initial budget to build Maroie Dam was $750 Million, but through fraud, illegal payouts, bribes, reckless management and misappropriations of funds the final cost was a staggering $3 Billion Dollars. This debt will be a burden on present and future generations. The potential for massive long term financial corruption is the main reason they choose dams over shorter and more transparent projects.

For all of the above and more we urge you to intervene by using whatever power is at your disposal to stop the destruction and eradication of the Nubian people, their history, present and future. The Nubian People in and worldwide would appreciate any effort on your part to stop these Dams.

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