The Niles: In your opinion, what are the good and the bad aspects of the Sennar Dam?
Hatim Abdelhadi: I can’t say that there are many adverse effects from the dam, except the many mosquitos living and reproducing in the dam’s reservoir. The dam was built for its positive impact of providing irrigation for the farms of Gezira, Managil and other agricultural projects near the city, as well as generating electricity.
TN: Are there any diseases in Sennar that are linked to the dam?
HA: Malaria is the disease that I believe is connected with the dam. After all, mosquitos live and breed in the lake. That has made malaria one of the endemic diseases in Sennar.
TN: Do you think air humidity is higher in Sennar than elsewhere in Sudan because of the dam’s lake?
HA: The air humidity is normal to me – it’s not very high or low. I don’t believe that the dam has affected air humidity.
TN: Are there big populations of mosquitos, scorpions or house flies in the area?
HA: We have big numbers of mosquitos in the city linked to the dam, but I think we don’t have an excessive number of other insects, although there are scorpions and snakes in the grass near the dam’s lake.
TN: Is electricity stable in Sennar?
HA: Electricity is more stable here than in other cities: the electricity is cut off once or twice a week, except in the autumn.
TN: From your information, were people forced to move due to the Sennar Dam? Was compensation paid to these people?
HA: Yes, there was forced transfer of some families near the dam area because they were at risk of drowning and their agricultural lands were sinking in the dam’s lake. From what I heard they were compensated.
TN: Have you been personally negatively affected by the dam?
HA: Yes, I have had Malaria many times, but other than that, I don’t see any evident impact.
TN: Do you personally benefit from Sennar dam? How?
HA: Yes. We can get a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables from different farms around the dam which are directly irrigated by it.