NGO col­lect­ing data on ef­fects of dam projects along Thanl­win River

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - News - MYAT MOE AUNG my­at­moeaung@mm­times.com OC­TO­BER 19, 2018

FU­TURE Thanl­win (Karenni State), a non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tion, is col­lect­ing data on how many peo­ple will be dis­placed by dam projects on the Thanl­win River, said Daw Nan Hnin Yi, head of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“We ac­tu­ally be­gan work­ing in June to ob­tain an ac­cu­rate count of the num­ber of peo­ple liv­ing in vil­lages and set­tle­ments along the river and hope to com­plete the work by the end of this year. We are now work­ing near Hpa­sawng town­ship (in Kayah State),” said Daw Nan Hnin Yi.

“Eth­nic com­mu­ni­ties in the area have re­lied on the river, which also has rich bio­di­ver­sity, for their liveli­hoods for cen­turies, as it pro­vides wa­ter for ir­ri­ga­tion and nu­tri­ents that make the land fer­tile,” she said, adding that it is only nat­u­ral for peo­ple who live along the river to worry about the dam projects.

“We first heard about the project in 2010, and since then we have been try­ing to pro­tect our land,” said Naw Lu De, a res­i­dent of Hpa­sawng.

Daw Nan Hnin Yi said most of the peo­ple in ru­ral ar­eas don’t know about the im­pact of build­ing a dam, so it would be bet­ter if in­for­ma­tion is prop­erly shared with eth­nic groups in the re­gion about the projects.

Many peo­ple in the re­gion op­posed to dam projects on the Thanl­win River, as they will cause the loss of land and liveli­hoods.

China Datang In­vest­ment, Three Gorges Corp., Si­no­hy­dro, the Elec­tric­ity Gen­er­at­ing Author­ity of Thai­land, Myan­mar’s Shwe Taung Co. and other com­pa­nies plan to in­vest in dams along the river to gen­er­ate 16,000 megawatts of elec­tric­ity.

‘Com­mu­ni­ties in the area have re­lied on the river for cen­turies.’ Daw Nan Hnin Yi Fu­ture Thanl­win (Karenni State)

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