Merowe Dam and Development in Northern Sudan: Where is Mr. Vice President Kiir in the Projects of the Presidency

By James Okuk Solomon

I got an opportunity on 24th June, 2007 to visit Merowe Dam and some accompanied development projects in that area. I am impressed that Presidency of the Republic of the Sudan is doing a great job for the generation of Northern Sudan with that project. The Dam is five meters (5m) tall and 176 km. long. It has the capacity of storing eleven milliard cubic centimetres (11,000,000,000 cm3). The project is implemented by a combination of a number of Northern Sudanese and International companies in addition to Northern consultants from some Sudanese Universities (mostly from University of Khartoum).

Attached to Merowe Dam project is Agricultural Scheme of Hamadab (about 67,000 acres) with Six big power generating diesel pumps from Britain put together in one canal station for irrigating that scheme and neighbouring local farms. Another purpose of that water storage and pumping is to produce cheaper voltages of hydroelectric power for Northern Sudan. The Presidency and the companies who are constructing that dam have also, so good so far, built good hospitals, good schools, good mosques, well equipped sports centres, and good concrete residential villages and markets for resettling the locals whose areas have been affected by the project. These model villages have been connected with tarmac roads in addition to the Northern lifeline Highway from Khartoum. Three big bridges are also being built to connect the major Town of the Northern States. Not only that, but also the Presidency is building a big International Airport with a longest and widest runway than the Khartoum Airport. That project is costing Sudan many Milliards of money, some of which is borrowed by the Presidency from outside in the name of the whole Sudan.

Though that work is so impressive I felt uneasy to find that there are no Southern Sudanese represented in the administration of that project (whether from the office of the President or that of the Vice President or even from the involved companies). I only saw Northerners!!! It is obvious that the project is benefiting the Northern Sudanese only in term of well paid jobs and trade dividends. Does it mean there are no Southern Sudanese engineers and administrators who are qualified to be involved in that developmental work? Or Does it mean they have been marginalized and kept a distance so that they do not expose the internal operation and transparency of that project? Or does it mean they are denied to benefit from consultancy and administrative big remuneration from that work, which can enable them to help their people in different ways? Why are not the same projects being seen in Southern Sudan since the debts incurred by their implementation affect the whole Sudan?

I hope our Vice president, H.E Salve Kiir will take this challenge to at least push for the Southern Sudanese consultants and administrators to be involved in such projects, and also to push very hard that some of such kind of big development projects happens in Southern Sudan. Let him not be pre-occupied with the problems of Salaries and ?Chapter One? in the South and let go many opportunities which are exploited by the presidency for the sake of the North. Within that Presidency, the strategies and plans for developmental infrastructure are being drawn in the name of the whole country but implemented in Northern Sudan alone. Is the South in this way getting a fair share of infrastructure from the common wealth of Oil, which is suppose to make unity attractive? Please Northerners, be fair to the South if you want Sudan to remain as one strong Country because you know it well, and Southerners also know it pretty well that the South is the lifeline of the flourishing future of the whole Sudan ? if it got cut the North will become weak to suffer!

Please login to comment

People in this conversation

  • Guest - James Okuk

    The height of Merowe Dam is fifty (50) metres tall and not five (5) metres as I wrote. The Width is 176 metres and not Kilo metres I wrote. Sorry for the measurement errors.

    0 Like