Woes behind the picturesque dam…

Posted by Freddy on Jan-23-2010

The Three Gorges dam, the most spectacular section of the Yangtze River, is filled with breathtaking sceneries. But who ever can predict the tears behind the picturesque dam. The dam filled with the tears of emotions….. Dams are built with promises of providing benefits to the local inhabitants, but in reality does it happen??? Never….. The fruits of someone’s sacrifice are enjoyed by the some others.

Most of the time, the decisions are made according to the interests of the powerful people and is imposed on the powerless and the helpless. The powerless and the helpless people thriving on the deltas of these valleys tend to be the scapegoat of these developments. In the name of development the local inhabitants are forced to migrate to mitigate the environmental issues. Though strategies are developed for resettlement, the problem arises with where to relocate them and how will they survive.

The Three Georges Dam was build with a purpose to provide cheap energy and to prevent draught and flood but now it has already relocated 1.24 million people as their homes were flooded with the water from dam. Now it is yet another 300,000 people is to be relocated to escape land hazards. Relocation due to development is historically associated with the construction of dams for hydroelectric power and irrigation purposes and it is a social problem affecting all levels of human organization.

The Dam is negatively affecting the wildlife of the area by altering habitats. A large amount of animal habitat will also be destroyed which include the endangered species like Siberian Crane, the Yangtze river dolphin and Yangtze sturgeon. The fresh water fish in the area has also affected due to the change in temperature in the area. About one billion tons of dirty water flow into the Yangtze River each year. The dam would stop this dirty water from being washed away, and lead to serious pollution problems.

This region has long been known for its rich biodiversity. It is home to 6,388 species of plants, which belong to 238 families and 1508 genera. Of these plant species, 57 percent are endangered. These rare species are also used as ingredients in traditional Chinese medicines are also affected by this project.

Future dam projects must be evaluated more thoroughly, and the capacity of the Ministry of Environmental Protection to do so must be strengthened. Most of the issues concerning the environment have roused due to the lack of study done before implementing the project. While evaluating these projects the advantages and disadvantages should be looked in properly to avoid these kinds of concerns. A proper and impartial study can avoid such environmental issues in future. It’s like the two sides of coin which has to be identified and evaluated properly.

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