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Dam Construction

More Dams …

The incident in Thailand kept on running through my mind and I was wondering whether there are more protests against dam constructions worldwide. So I kept on doing some research.

  • Four indigenous peoples in Namibia asked the government to stop the planned dam construction, but their voices were not heard. As a result, in February 2012 they petitioned the UN to demand a „greater say in the decisions affecting them“. (see Africa News “Namibian nomads ask UN to halt dam construction”, 24 Feb 2012)
  • More than 100,000 indigenious people have to leave their home because of the Bakun Dam construction in Malaysia. 40 NGOs in Malaysia alone demonstrate against the construction together with NGOs and indigenous people from the Bakun region. (see Friends of the Earth “The Bakun Hydroelectric Project – Malaysia”, Jan 2002)
  • When the drilling for the Munzur Valley Dam in Turkey was about to begin, opponents of the dam attacked the machines. Baris Yildrim, a lawyer specialised in the environment, added that the construction of a dam in the Munzur Valley Nationalpark is actually illegal. (see Turkish Weekly “Local Reactions to Dam Construction in Turkey”, 01 Oct 2010)
  • China’s plan to build a dam in Tibet drew India’s protest against it. When the Brahmaputra, one of India’s main rivers, is dammed on the Chinese territory, this will have a significant impact on the water supply in India. (see 2point6billion.com “India’s Ramesh Comments on Brahmaputra project in Beijing”, 10 May 2010)
  • The Innu in Canada (a tribe in the Northeast of the country) blocked the highway – on which material for the dam construction was supposed to be transported – for 4 days. After the police broke up the protest, a group of women organised a protest march over 900 kilometers. When they arrived at the construction side of the dam they were joined by other affected communities and formed a human chain in front of the construction side’s entrance. (see Towardsfreedom.com on Ticker “Innu Continue to Protest the Plan Nord and Romaine River Hydro Project”, 04 Jul 2012)

These are only some examples, but they do give an impression that protests against dam constructions – especially against dams which would have a significant impact on people’s livelihood – are not that rare.




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