Port Sudan expected to undergo water crisis

The Dams Execution Unit in the Ministry of Irrigation attributed the crisis to the lack of rain water in winter, while revealing an urgent and short-term emergency plan to avoid it.

Khartoum: AlTaghyeer: Sarah Taj al-Sir

The Dams Implementation Unit at the Sudanese Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources warned of an expected severe water crisis in the eastern city of Port Sudan by next March.

The Dams Implementation Unit attributed the crisis to the lack winter rains, while revealing an urgent and short-term emergency to help avoid it.

Port Sudan acts as the main port in Sudan and is capital of the Red Sea State, and the most important city in the east of the country from an economic and strategic point of view.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, the General Director of the unit, Mohamed Noureddine, blamed the Ministry of Finance for not providing the necessary funding to complete the unit’s projects.

“The slowdown in payments from finance has hampered the smooth implementation,” he said.

He indicated that work on the Upper Atbara and Setit dam had been completed, with the exception of the power station financed by the Arab Fund.

The director of the Dams Implementation Unit demanded that the Ministry of Finance pay $3.2 million to ensure the withdrawal of the $11 million funding.

He also revealed that the consultant in the Gedaref water project – financed by the Islamic Bank in Jeddah – had stopped due to the accumulation of debts, which he said amounted to 4.7 million euros.

Noureddine explained that the company issued a warning and that it was agreed to provide the service in return for securing some payments to complete part of the project.

The Dams Unit director noted that the initial delivery of Gedaref water will be next May, in coordination and continuous cooperation with all departments and engineers, and the continuation of funding during the warranty and operation period.

Noureddine indicated that contracting procedures had begun to drill 500 wells under a grant from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In addition to 100 holes under the current year’s budget, as well as providing water in conflict areas through the construction of 30 dams.

The unit’s director revealed a number of challenges facing the unit, most notably the lack of financial commitment to pay its agreed obligations.

In addition to low employee wages, which contribute to the instability of qualified cadres as he explained.

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