NGO collecting data on effects of dam projects along Thanlwin River
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)