1,590 Nubians request compensation over Aswan Dam harm

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Wed, 17 Jul 2019 - 11:11 GMT

The committee formed to receive compensation requests starting June 25 has announced extending the deadline until the end of July – Press photo

The committee formed to receive compensation requests starting June 25 has announced extending the deadline until the end of July – Press photo

CAIRO – 17July 2019: The number of Nubian people who have applied for compensation in Aswan due to the harm their grandparents suffered during the construction of Aswan Dam has reached 1,590 people so far.

This comes as the committee formed to receive compensation requests starting June 25 has announced extending the deadline until the end of July.

Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ordered addressing the problems of Nubian people affected bythe construction of Aswan's High Dam since 1902, said Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Omar Marwan in June.

The Cabinet formed a committee headed by the Ministry of Justice in 2017 to determine those entitled to be compensated from our people in Nubia, Marwan said. It was found that 11,716 people are eligible for compensation.

Those who deserve compensation include 3,851 people affected by the construction of the Aswan reservoir, while 7,865 people were affected by the construction of the Aswan Dam, he said.

Some others had already received compensation. After counting those who deserve the compensation, the government opened the door for appeals and requests in order to compensate the rest of affected Nubians, he added.

Asked about the type of compensation, Marwan said that the affected Nubians will receive lands, houses or cash, adding that agricultural lands and houses will be granted to those affected by the construction of the Aswan Dam.

Concerning the reservoir, the affected people have already built houses on the land of the state, Marwan said, adding that the government will grant them the legal ownership of these lands. Moreover, those who built houses on lands near rivers including islands will be giventhe right to use these lands forever for free.

Marwan said earlier that each of the affected persons has the entitlement to apply for cash compensation of LE 25,000 ($1498) per feddan.

The affected people will be compensated by other lands, as some of them deserve arable lands while others deserve lands for housing units.

The story

Years ago, Egypt's former President Gamal Abdel Nasser instructed to build Egypt’s biggest national project, the High Dam.

The High Dam was built under the name of Aswan Dam. It was mainly meant to generate power and regulate the seasonal flooding of the Nile. Being one of the former leader’s greatest achievementsfor the Egyptians, especially the farmers, the dam was adream that came true as peoplehave suffered for years from the loss of their crops due to the seasonal unexpected floods.

The establishment of the Dam started with Aswan Dam/reservoir in 1902. The increasing rate of water flow behind the dam flooded 44 Nubian villages and displaced 18000 Nubian families in the aftermath. The area is known now as “old Nubia”.

Nubians who deserted their houses and saw them sink beneath the rising waterhad to migrate to Kom Ambo area known as “New Nubia”. The biggest migration took place when the construction of the High Dam occurred in 1963. Nubians witnessed a shift in the way of life around the Nile to a new desert life in villages built for them in Kom Ambo.

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