Kajbar Dam, Sudan
The Sudanese government plans to turn the Nile Valley – the only fertile stretch of land in Northern Sudan – into a strong of five reservoirs (see map). The Aswan Dam and the Merowe Dam have already been built. Next in line are the Kajbar, Shereik and Dal dams.
The Kajbar Dam on the Nile’s third cataract would create a reservoir of 110 square kilometers, and generate hydropower with a capacity of 360 megawatts. It would also submerge some 90 villages, displace about 10,000 people, and destroy an estimated 500 archeological sites.
The Kajbar and Dal projects are located in the lands of ancient Nubia. After large Nubian territories have already been lost to the reservoir of the Aswan Dam, construction of these new dams would bring the unique Nubian culture, which dates back over more than 5,000 years, closer to extinction.
The affected people are strongly opposed to the construction of the Kajbar and Dal dams. They have warned that the projects could lead to a second Darfur conflict. The Sudanese government has cracked down harshly on their protests. In 2007, security forces killed four and injured at least 20 people who protested peacefully against the proposed Kajbar Dam. The UN Special Rapporteur on Sudan deplored the excessive force used against the Nubian population.
In 2010, the Sudanese government awarded a $705 million, five-year contract to build the Kajbar Dam to the Chinese company Sinohydro, the world’s largest hydropower contractor. The affected communities and International Rivers have called on Sinohydro to withdraw from the Kajbar contract.