SAVE Rivers doubts that all the Iban communities in Baleh are aware about the Baleh Dam Project

MIRI – Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) doubts that the Iban communities in Baleh are aware what more be receptive to the proposed Baleh Hydro-electric Power (HEP) Dam as claimed by the Iban community leader, Temenggong Datuk Kenneth Kanyan as reported in the Borneo Post dated 29 February 2012.

From the mega-dams conference organised two weeks ago by SAVE Rivers, four participants from Baleh clearly stated that they were not fully aware about the proposed dam project and have registered their objection to it.

From SAVE Rivers’ research, the residents of Nanga Antawau, Baleh are only aware that the Baleh Dam Access road is going to be build through their village and not much information was given by the authorities about the pros and cons of the proposed dam.

Furthermore, the feasibility studies are still ongoing and the State Government has yet to approve its construction.
SAVE Rivers would like to ask Temenggong Datuk Kenneth Kanyan whether:
  1. there is any Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) studies have been carried out and that this document have been made available for public scrutiny;
  2. the resettlement and compensation plans are already made public; and
  3. the people affected have been properly informed and consulted without any coercion from the authorities
According to Peter Kallang, Chairman of SAVE Rivers, “The community chiefs have no right to give consent to accept the proposed dam on behalf of all his community.”

“The construction of mega-dams is not the only means to develop the state. Sarawak needs development and I believe that the people all want to have better living standard but building mega-dams will destroy the rivers and submerge the very land which the people need for development”, said Peter.

Once again SAVE Rivers would like to state our demands that:
  1. All proposed mega-dams to be built in Sarawak shall be immediately and permanently stopped.
  2. All outstanding issues with regard to compensation or matters concerning any human rights for peoples affected by dams already constructed or under construction shall be solved immediately.
  3. The people’s decision and their right to disagree for the dams to be built shall be respected and taken into account.
  4. The government shall promote viable alternative energy generations which are environmentally friendly and renewable such as micro-hydro power system, solar energy, wind energy or biomass
  5. All destructive activities within the water catchment areas of all the river systems in Sarawak shall be immediately and permanently stopped.
  6. All dirty industries, like those under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) shall be immediately and permanently stopped.
  7. After full and free consultation, referendum on the construction of the different dams’ constructions shall be conducted.

Press statement release by:
Mark Bujang,
Secretary, SAVE Rivers
Tel:             +60148776685      


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