Sudan: The Merowe/Hamadab Dam Project
The Merowe/Hamadab Dam Project is the largest hydropower project that is currently being developed in Africa. Once it is completed, a dam with a height of 67 meters on the fourth cataract of the Nile in North Sudan will create a reservoir with a length of 174 kilometres and a surface area of 476 square kilometres. The reservoir will displace about 50,000 people. (The project's Environmental Impact Assessment states that the reservoir will have a reach of 200 kilometres. This would affect a larger number of people, particularly on the island of Mugrat.)
The purpose of the Merowe Dam is to generate hydropower with an installed capacity of 1,250 megawatts. The project is expected to be completed between 2007 and 2009. It will roughly double Sudan's power generating capacity. According to the Environmental Impact Assessment, the project includes an irrigation component. There is uncertainty, however, as to whether or not the irrigation component will proceed, with Sudanese government officials giving different views.
The total cost of the Merowe Project is budgeted to reach $1.2 billion. In addition to the Sudanese government, the main funders of the dam include the China Export Import Bank, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, and the Development Funds of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, and the Sultanate of Oman. Since many problems of the project, including the resettlement of the affected communities, have not yet been resolved, it is impossible to gauge the project's final cost at this point.
The dam and the transmission lines are mainly being constructed by Chinese companies. Sudanese contractors are involved in building the dam and the resettlement sites. Western companies are also involved in the project: Lahmeyer International of Germany manages the construction of the project; Alstom of France is supplying electro-mechanic equipment; and ABB of Switzerland is building transmission substations.
The Merowe Dam is currently under construction. The Corner House and International Rivers Network did not receive permission to visit the construction site. Together with representatives of the affected communities and the Environmentalists' Society, however, they were able to visit the project's first resettlement site at El Multaga.
Full report at nilebasin.com via Nile Basin Blog with thanks.
- - -
Did you know?
The Nile River is the longest river in the world. From its major source, Lake Victoria in east central Africa, the White Nile flows generally north through Uganda and into Sudan where it meets the Blue Nile at Khartoum, which rises in the Ethiopian highlands. From the confluence of the White and Blue Nile, the river continues to flow northwards into Egypt and on to the Mediterranean Sea. From Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea the length of the Nile is 5,584 km. From its remotest headstream, the Ruvyironza River in Burundi, the river is 6,671 km long. The river basin has an area of more than 3,349,000 sq. km.
Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica: Sudan, history of the Abay (Nile)
[via Nile Basin Blog with thanks]
UPDATE May 2: Sudan Tribune has just published this story with a link to the pdf report. About the publishers:
International Rivers Network links the environment and human rights. For 20 years, IRN has worked with local communities to protect their rivers and watersheds, and has encouraged sustainable methods of meeting needs for water, energy and flood management. IRN is based in the USA. www.irn.org, firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in 1997, The Corner House aims to support democratic and community movements for environmental and social justice through analysis, research and advocacy work. The Corner House is based in the United Kingdom. www.thecornerhouse.org.uk, email@example.com
- - -
Over one billion people, one sixth of the world's population, do not have access to safe water.
Through aquaplastics website, WaterAid and the European plastics industry are working together to help tackle this huge problem.
Every day you click on this site, the European plastics industry will donate 10 cents to help WaterAid deliver clean, safe water and sanitation to people in Ethiopia. If they reach 1.5 million clicks by 22 June 2005 then a total of 150,000 euro will be donated to WaterAid.
Please help them to reach their target by clicking there once a day - it only takes seconds and it doesn't cost you anything! Thank you.
Water Aid is a UK Registered Charity No. 288701
- - -
Ethan's Waterbottle WiFi and Geekcorps Mali
See Ethan's post on Waterbottle WiFi and Geekcorps Mali.
Plus, excerpt from Water bottle WiFi in Mali: In the great tradition of DIY wireless comes another project underway in Mali. The project is investigating best practices for building small DIY antennas and router enclosures at low-cost to serve the Malian television and WiFi markets. Designs were taken from numerous sources and adapted to use materials readily available in Mali such as plastic water bottles (peep the "BottleNet" antenna at right), used motorbike valve stems, and window screen mesh. Goals included reducing cost and making assemblages simple enough to require little technical skill. For about $40 per antenna, the project could end up satisfying most of the needs of the WiFi market in Mali. Want to piggy-back off your neighbor's broadband? Start saving your bottles.
Tags: Darfur Sudan Africa