Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sudanese Dams Threaten to Displace Nubians

Human rights may often become a secondary concern when countries attempt to step up industrialization efforts. This may be the case in Sudan where the government plans to build a total of four dams in the heart of Nubian territory. The Independent reports that Nubians feel they are being unfairly targeted and poorly consulted by the government. Moreover, the towns constructed for their resettlement have much poorer soil than their homes along the Nile. Protests held against the construction of the dams have, at times, been violently suppressed and, in one instance, resulted in the death of three people. With just one dam displacing 50,000 people it seems likely that unrest will only continue to escalate.

Given the potential for broader conflict, anthropologists and other social scientists working in the region may wish to become engaged in this issue. What are some approaches they could take to encourage dialogue between the parties involved? And does a compromise seem likely given the attitudes reported by The Independent? Please comment below.

The Independent Article