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UAE funds $260m water stations for Khartoum State

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January 8, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will fund the construction of two water pumping stations at a cost of 260 million dollars in Khartoum state in support of the Sudanese government efforts to resolve a water crisis in the most densely populated region of the country.

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Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir (L) shakes hands with UAE vice-president and prime minister Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum in Abu Dhabi on 22 February 2015 (WAM)

Based on the latest national census in 2008, the state has dynamic population with over five million inhabitants. The National Bureau of Statistic projects that the number of Khartoum population in 2018 would reach nearly eight millions (7,993,851).

Khartoum state witnessed during 2015 sporadic protests in different districts to protest the cut of water supplies. Recently, the Sudanese government refused a demand of Khartoum Water Corporation to increase price of water in order to improve water networks.

The governor of Khartoum State Abel Rahim Hussein Thursday announced that the UAE would pay 260 million dollars to fund the construction of two water pumping stations, adding that each plant will produce 300,000 cubic meters of drinking water per day.

Last November, Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir visited the Gulf state with a big delegation including foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour, finance minister, Badr al-Din Mahmoud, minister of electricity and water resources.

However, the outcome of the visit, or the signed agreement were not announced.

The Sudanese government has managed to achieve a breakthrough in ties with UAE after a long period of strained relations over Khartoum’s close ties with Tehran.

UAE is in a long-standing territorial dispute with Iran over the three Gulf islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb.

In 2015, al-Bashir visited Abu Dhabi in February, and November.

In November, it was announced that the two countries have agreed to coordinate efforts to develop a unified strategy in order to face the common challenges and maintain stability of the Arab World.

Recently, Khartoum cuts off relations with Tehran amending fully its relations with the Gulf countries as they are also participate in the Saudi led military campaign against the Shiite militants in Yemen.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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