Myanmar Rivers Network calls suspensions of mega dam projects including resources

Myanmar Rivers Network has called for the suspension of construction on mega dam projects, a special economic zone and extraction of value-added mineral resources until a federal agreement is signed.

At a press conference at the Orchid Hotel on December 7, the network released a statement saying that the respective governments and companies must give full compensations to villagers who had been moved by force because of previous dam construction projects.

Activist group opposes all dams on Thanlwin River

The Thanlwin River Watch Alliance said it will oppose any dam project on the Thanlwin River at a forum held on Monday in Taunggyi Township, Shan State. The alliance is composed of residents of Shan, Kayah, Kayin and Mon states and monitors projects on the river, which flows through the four states. Ethnic minority representatives and members of civil society organisations attended the forum. The group also launched a nationwide signature campaign that day.

Kratie’s Tourist Boat Operators Worry Over Don Sahong Dam Impacts in Laos

Two commune chiefs and tourist boat operators in Kratie province have expressed their dissatisfaction over the construction of Don Sahong Dam, saying people’s living conditions will be getting worse while biodiversity – including rare fish species and dolphins in the lower Mekong River – are facing a threat of becoming extinct in the future if the Lao dam proceeds with its construction.

Water Conflicts and the Fate of Mekong Delta

Water conflict on the Mekong is getting increasingly tense and the fate of Mekong Delta is really being threatened by drought and salinity intrusion. The Kong-Chi-Mun-Loei project aims to get irrigation water supply for 4 river basin covering 1.8 million hectares for rainy season and about 900,000 hectares for dry season in 17 provinces of northeastern Thailand. The project will take the water amount equivalent of 1,200m3/s from Mekong River. In the dry season, the flow on the Mekong River in recent years is only about 2,500m3/sec. Thus, the amount of water Kong-Chi-Mun-Loei project would take almost accounts for half the amount of water on the Mekong.

Govt sidesteps controversial Thanlwin in hydropower push

U Htay Aung, deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Electric Power and Energy, told The Myanmar Times last week that the projects – the Shweli (3), Upper Yeywa and Upper Kyaing Taung dams – are seen by the ministry as a means of meeting energy-deprived Myanmar’s electricity needs, while noting that the earliest expected completion dates were 2020.

Along with a fourth dam under construction in Rakhine State and a fifth in Nay Pyi Taw’s Pyinmana township, the projects’ electricity generation will total more than 1500 megawatts, he said, nearly half of Myanmar’s current installed capacity nationwide.