Compensation is one of the crucial issues for the success of the resettlement process. The Dams Implementation Unit has committed itself to pay all due amounts of compensation in full. A lot of time has been spent, and many surveys have been conducted, and legal issues and procedures have been addressed before fixing the rates of compensations. The following part gives briefing about these efforts.

 Compensation Rates:

To determine the compensation rates the following steps have been followed:

  • 1. A direct dialogue has been established between the Damís Administration and the Committees representing the affected population.
  • 2. Specialized technical committees have been formed in both the River Nile and Northern States, in which the affected people have been represented. These Committees presented few suggestions and recommendations regarding the rates of compensations. 
  • 3. Lengthy negotiations have been conducted (during May-July 2002), through the mediation of a local committee, during which the following papers were tabled for negotiations:

  The First paper presented the compensation rates according to the 1993ís Report delivered by the  Canadian Company Monenco Agra and financed by the World Bank.

 The second paper was prepared by the Technical Committee for the Northern State.

The third paper was prepared by the Technical Committee for the River Nile State.

The fourth paper was prepared by the Merowe Damís Administration.

The fifth and sixth papers were prepared by the representatives of the Affected Population (AP).

It is worth mentioning that the Canadian Companyís Report gave the least rates for compensation, while the Affected Populationís papers asked for the highest. The proposals which appeared in the papers delivered by the Technical Committees in the Northern and River Nile State represented a compromise between the two extremes.

The negotiations helped to bring the differing opinion closer, and contributed to establishing the scientific-based dialogue as a means for determining the rates of compensations.

  • The President of the Republic who is also the Chairman of the Dam's Higher Political Committee issued the Order No. (1), for the year 2002, fixing the rates of compensation for the population affected by the establishment of Merowe Dam.
  • Based on the demands of the Affected Population Committee to review the rates, the President decided to refer the Compensation Order to  the National Assembly (the Parliament), for more deliberations. Guided by the Parliamentís recommendations, the President issued the Presidential Order No. (1) for 2003, establishing a specialized technical committee. The Committee was mandated to come out with proposals for the rates of compensation.
  • Following  the Technical Committeeís recommendation, the Presidential issued Order No (2) for 2003 modifying the compensation rates.as follows:

1.      Palm trees:

a)      The productive palm tree will be compensated by 50,000 Sudanese Dinars (SD), to be paid in cash over a period of 6 years.

b)        The non-productive palm tree will be compensated by 6.500 SD.

c)       The palm seedling will be compensated by 400 SD.

 

2.      Mango Tree:

The mango tree is compensated with 90,371 SD.

3.      Citrus trees:

Citrus trees will be compensated by 55,325 SD. each.

4.      Guava Trees:

The guava tree will compensated with 50,000 SD.

5.      Fruit trees:

The rate of compensation for non-productive fruit trees will be decided by the Commissioner.

6.      The wood trees:

The wood trees will be compensated with a rate of 1,200 SD for each cubic meter.

 

 Compensation for lands and other property not included in the above list of rates:

The Trees and Houses Committee, which was formed by the Commissioner determines the rates of compensations for any land or other property that are not decided upon by any list.

 

The Management and Irrigation of Agricultural Projects, and Funding of Agricultural Activities:

  1. The Government compensates the resident families upon resettlement in the new sites with a sum of 50,000 SD, for each family.
  2. Every family residing in the area drowned by the reservoir will be given 6 feddans in the resettlement projects, according to the government conditions in giving the benefits of government lands and based on the social status of the residing family.
  3. The respective bodies in each state will manage the projects in their state.
  4. The farmers will be exempted from paying the water fees for two years. The government is obliged to deliver the water to the agricultural projects.
  5. The government allocates a sum of money for a rotating fund to finance the cultivation and agricultural operations     

Based on that, they started to release the compensations for the affected population, after it has been agreed upon and accepted by the committees.

Release of Compensations:

Following are the steps that are followed for compensation payment and allocation of land:

a)      The monetary compensation will be paid over six installments, divided over six years. The first payment will be released on the AP arrival at the new resettlement site, as stated in Order No. (1) for 2002, which was issued by the President of the Republic, who is also the Chairman of the Higher Political Committee.

b)      The Commission and the Committees representing the Affected Population exerted all efforts with the Minister of Finance and National Economy to provide the necessary funding for compensations. Their effort resulted in the the Ministerís approval to pay the first installment of compensation in full for every form that includes 25 palm trees or less. (in this way 52% of the total sum of compensations have been paid. The remaining payment will be released on five installments over a period of five years). The same proposal exempted all forms that contain more that 150 productive palm trees, on which the Order will be applied.   

c)  Monetary compensation is paid  for every body who own a house but does not want to move with his group to the new resettlement area.

d)  Everybody who owns a house in the affected area will be given a house in the resettlement site, if he wishes to voluntarily move into the new site.

e)  People whose houses will be drowned by the Damís water are exempted from paying the difference that result from the value differences between their previous houses and the new houses that they will be given at the resettlement sites. This exemption is considered as a token of appreciation for them for their sacrifices.

In this regard the Commission coordinated with the Federal Ministry of Finance to release the compensation payment through the Farmerís Bank, which used mobile branches in the old and new sites for this purpose.