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Egypt debates decision to compensate Nubians affected by dam construction in 1960s

Aswan High Dam in Egypt on 19 May 2019 [Warren LeMay/Flickr]
Aswan High Dam in Egypt on 19 May 2019 [Warren LeMay/Flickr]

An Egyptian decision to compensate the country’s Nuba people who were affected by the construction of the High Dam in the 1960s has stirred controversy.

A government ruling will see the establishment of a national commission which will receive compensation requests for 21 days from 25 July. Applications will be filed in the Aswan Governorate, south of the country.

The grievances are scheduled to be considered and finalised on 20 August.

The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Omar Marwan announced the decision, stating that it was issued in 2017 by the prime minister on the instruction of the president. A list of those entitled to receive compensation reveals that there are 3,851 Nubians who could be compensated for the construction of the Old Aswan Dam, and 7,865 for the construction of the High Dam. The latter group includes 3,107 who lost properties as a result of the dam’s construction while the rest lost land.

Those who lost their houses are entitled to receive a cash amount of 225,000 Egyptian pounds ($13,554).

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