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Mekong River Dam Will Kill Us, Protesters Tell Yingluck

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Mekong river dam will kill us : protesters tell PM

PHATSURANG DECHABUDDHARUNGSI

THE NATION

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BANGKOK: -- A conservation group submitted a petition with more than 9,000 signatures from people opposed to a controversial dam on the Mekong River to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday, demanding the Thai government cease support for the Xayaburi Dam.

Representatives of the Thai People's Network gathered at Government House with posters that said "We, people from the Northeast, will not support PM Yingluck anymore", and the "Dam is killing us".

They called for Yingluck to come out to receive their petition and hear their demands, but she did not appear.

The group, together with a coalition of Towards Ecological Recovery and Regional Alliance (TERRA) and Save the Mekong, held an exhibition at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre last week called 'Disaster on the Mekong: The Push for Xayaburi Dam', which pictures by top photographer Suthep Kritsanavarin.

Each photo shows aspects of life along the Mekong would be lost forever because of the dam.

Laos proposed building the dam on the Mekong at Thahouy district in Xayaburi province, to generate more than 1,000 MW of power to sell to Thailand. Thai construction firm Ch Karnchang is building the dam - the first on the mainstream of the river below China.

According to the International Rivers conservation group, the Xayaburi dam will, if completed, block critical fish migration routes for dozens of species to upper stretches of the Mekong as far as Chiang Saen in northern Thailand - an important spawning ground for the critically endangered Mekong giant catfish.

They said the dam would destroy the river's complex ecosystem, which serves as a significant fish habitat for local and migratory species. The dam would also block sediment flows, affecting agriculture, especially Thai eight provinces and far down to the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.

Cambodia and Vietnam have called on Vientiane to reconsider the project, saying it is a major threat to millions who depend on the river for food and livelihoods. The Mekong River Commission, which Thailand and Laos are also members of, agrees the dam should be delayed for proper studies of environmental impacts. But ministers in Laos say studies have already been done, and consultants they hired said there were no major negative impacts for the river.

These claims are disputed by representatives from Cambodia and Vietnam, plus fishing communities and the conservationists who rallied in Bangkok yesterday.

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-- The Nation 2012-09-18

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As far as I am aware there is a huge amount of sediment that comes down the Mekong, I wonder how the turbines would cope with large amounts of possibly coarse granules passing through in wet season, and how long till the inflow of sediment into the dam reduces it's water holding capacity?

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Well, in the rest of the world they use "fish ladders" and they just work fine. Apart from that I wonder where all those concerning voices were when the Chinese built their little dams which forced dozens of millions of people to relocate and flooded some hunderts of kilometres back. But I guess, it is always a matter who is building, complaining and/or paying.

Comparing this dam with the Chinese open lignite mine and power station being built further up in Hongsa I can tell you that all those greenies would just LOVE only dams. In Hongsa (northwestern Laos, same province, north of the Thai province of Nan) there is an ecological desaster in the making; the smokes will ruin Luang Prabang's tourism industry (only 70 kilometres crow-fly distance away). Pathetic!

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But ministers in Laos say studies have already been done, and consultants they hired said there were no major negative impacts for the river.

Gee Really? The consultants hired by the Lao Government said everything will be hunky dory. I would imagine an independent consulting Firm might have a different opinion. Actually I believe many experts have already chimed in and believe it could possibly be a eco disaster, as most dams are that block natural migration routs. Example: California and Oregon. massive decline in salmon populations, after dams were built. Many if not all of those have these fish ladders integrated in these projects.

I don't think having a few less salmon could be considered an eco disaster. Building a city is more of an eco disaster and most of us don't complain about living in them. Nature can cope quite easily with a dam.

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Dams are getting harder to get built in many regions, worldwide, mostly from peoples' protests. People are becoming more aware of the implications. Not like the old days (or modern day China or Laos) when dams got built wherever politicians and Big Biz wanted them built.

Dams can be good in some ways, but of course, each site should be looked at for its unique set of plusses and minuses. From the little I've heard about the big Laotian dam, it looks like a bad idea. There are alternative power sources which few politicians are aware of. Tide and river flow are renewable, clean, and low cost. Power generator systems are pumping out amperage as we speak. Thailand could provide most of the power for Krabi (and other seaside regions) using tide power. Similarly, a considerable portion of power needs along the Mekong could be met with river-flow power. It's not 'pie in the sky' technology. Two motocy mechanics and a budget of 5 million baht (the cost of one fancy house) could build a series of small power generators which could power a small town - from just river flow. Contact me, if you want details.

"People are becoming more aware of the implications".

What do you mean? Those experts that carried out a study said that there were NO negative impacts - so people's concerns are clearly unjustified and they should accept everything that happens!!! I mean, they only live there are depend on the river for their livelihoods, so what voice have they got in all this.

Besides, if it wakes them up in turning their backs on Pheua Thai then it will benefit the country no end!!!

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As far as I am aware there is a huge amount of sediment that comes down the Mekong, I wonder how the turbines would cope with large amounts of possibly coarse granules passing through in wet season, and how long till the inflow of sediment into the dam reduces it's water holding capacity?

You might be the only one who's thought about that, unfortunately.

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But ministers in Laos say studies have already been done, and consultants they hired said there were no major negative impacts for the river.

Gee Really? The consultants hired by the Lao Government said everything will be hunky dory. I would imagine an independent consulting Firm might have a different opinion. Actually I believe many experts have already chimed in and believe it could possibly be a eco disaster, as most dams are that block natural migration routs. Example: California and Oregon. massive decline in salmon populations, after dams were built. Many if not all of those have these fish ladders integrated in these projects.

The consultants hired for this project were independent foreign experts.

http://www.mrcmekong.org/news-and-events/consultations/proposed-xayaburi-hydropower-project-prior-consultation-process/

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As far as I am aware there is a huge amount of sediment that comes down the Mekong, I wonder how the turbines would cope with large amounts of possibly coarse granules passing through in wet season, and how long till the inflow of sediment into the dam reduces it's water holding capacity?

You might be the only one who's thought about that, unfortunately.

Really? http://www.mrcmekong.org/news-and-events/consultations/proposed-xayaburi-hydropower-project-prior-consultation-process/

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The Dam won't just kill the protesters. The 3 Gorges dam_n, because it changed the way the river flows, has become more polluted, and because the silt drops out quicker, there has been significant land loss at the river mouth.

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Ahhhh, the PM did not come out to listen?

Well, the dam is built by a Thai company, and the electricity will be sold to Thailand.

Enough said?

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BANGKOK 22 July 2017 09:51
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