Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Omar Marawan (Al-Ahram)
The Egyptian government announced that it has started implementing a plan to provide compensation for tens of thousands of Nubian citizens who have been displaced by the construction of the two Aswan dams but never compensated for their loss of homes and land.
The new compensation plan is the product of the work of a national committee formed by the cabinet under the directives of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to compensate Nubian citizens who have not been compensated for the harm incurred on them from the construction of the Aswan Low Dam over a century ago or the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s.
The national committee, which included representatives from the justice ministry and other state bodies, has established the guidelines for determining eligibility requirements for compensation for Nubian citizens who have never been compensated for their losses, according to a statement released by the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Omar Marawan.
Those eligible for compensation fall under three categories.
First, Nubians who lost their homes during the construction of the Aswan Low Dam, which began in 1899, and built new homes without permits on state-owned land in the governorate of Aswan will now be granted legal ownership rights or usufruct right over these lands.
Second, Nubians who lost their farmlands during the building of the High-Dam could choose between commensurate tillable lands in other areas or cash compensation worth EGP 25,000 per feddan (feddan = acre).
A third category of Nubian citizens entitled for compensation are those who lost their homes during the building of the High Dam. They will be offered a choice between new houses in or outside the governorate of Aswan or a cash compensation of EGP 225,000 per unit.
Thousands of Nubian citizens have started last week filing their documentations and requests for compensation of their choice at government offices both at home and in Egyptian embassies abroad, and will continue to do so until mid-July, according to Minister Marawan.
The final determination on eligibility will be announced by the special government committee 10 days later.
The Nubian citizens can appeal findings before a legal committee within an additional 10 days.
The first round of compensation will be dispersed in mid-September, Marawan said.