Author Topic: Dam threatens livelihood of Cambodia's poor VIDEO  (Read 503 times)

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Offline thaiga

Dam threatens livelihood of Cambodia's poor VIDEO
« on: April 22, 2012, 02:40:00 PM »
Dam on Mekong's tributary may force 5,000 people to relocate, but government says it will benefit people.

The Mekong River and its tributaries are Southeast Asia’s main waterway flowing through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

There are a number of dams built in the upper Mekong basin, including five in China, to generate electricity. But a second dam on river Sesan, a tributary of Mekong, is threatening the livelihood of people in Ratanakiri area of Cambodia.

Activists say the dam will flood more than 30,000 hectares of farmland, forcing around 5,000 people to relocate and severely affect fishermen across the Mekong basin.

The government says it has conducted all the relevant environmental surveys and believes the positive impacts outweigh the negative.

Al Jazeera’s Stephanie Scawen reports from Ratanakiri.
Dam threatens livelihood of Cambodia's poor

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Offline thaiga

Re: RID defies activists, pushes for new dam
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2012, 12:17:56 PM »
The Royal Irrigation Department will press ahead with the controversial Mae Wong dam project in Nakhon Sawan province despite growing protests from environmental groups.


The department, which is developing the dam, is expected to complete an environmental and health impact assessment of the project in July, Somkiat Prajamwong, director of the RID's project management office, told the Bangkok Post.

After that the department would submit the report to the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning, the Independent Commission on Environment and Health, and the National Environment Board for final approval, he said.

Mr Somkiat said the RID had started the EHIA study last September when about 4,000 residents of Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani and Kamphaeng Phet were invited to give their opinions on the dam's construction.

A final public review of the EHIA will be held in Nakhon Sawan next month.

"The report will cover all concerns about the dam's environmental impacts, especially the impact on wildlife and forest area," Mr Somkiat said.

"The department also set aside more than 500 million baht for environmental impact mitigation measures."

The cabinet on April 10 gave the green light to the dam's construction in Mae Wong district with a budget of 13.28 billion baht. The project is aimed at solving flood and water shortage problems in the Sakae Krang river basin which covers Uthai Thani, Nakhon Sawan, Chai Nat, and Kamphaeng Phet.

The dam would inundate about 13,260 rai of protected forest in the Mae Wong National Park.

Proposed in 1984, the dam has been delayed for many years as the project's environmental impact study had failed to get approval from the National Environment Board.

It also faced fierce protests from environmentalists, who said the project would damage one of the country's most pristine forests and home of rare wildlife species.

Mr Somkiat admitted that the RID had decided to build the dam in the forest because it did not want to encounter problems with local residents who might have to be evacuated to pave the way for the dam's construction.

"Building the dam inside the national park will cause damage to the ecological system, but it will increase the irrigation area and ease flood problems. It's a trade-off," he said.

Environmental groups, however, have stepped up their protests against the dam, which they said would not solve flood problems in the river basin.

The Sakae Krang river basin is located in a low-lying area where several major rivers meet.

Building a dam on the Mae Wong river "would not solve the flood problem while resulting in immense ecological impact on the western forest complex", said a statement from an alliance of green groups issued last week.

The cabinet's approval of the dam was also illegal because the project's EHIA had not yet been endorsed by relevant agencies, they said.

The campaign against the Mae Wong dam has been active in social media while a petition signed by more than 3,000 people opposing the dam had been launched.
bangkokpost
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