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Environmental problems associated with Three Gorges dam resettlement

Posted by Author on September 30, 2006

– Expert urge China rethinking Three Gorges resettlement (4)

by Chen Guojie, Three Gorges Probe, September 20/2006- (Cont’d)

Chen Guojie is a senior researcher at the Chengdu Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

4. Environmental problems

Another problem associated with dam resettlement is environmental degradation. The phenomenon known as “reverse flow” is not only a past problem, but also a current one.

Some people ousted by dam projects have abandoned resettlement sites and returned to their places of origin after encountering difficulties in rebuilding their livelihoods, adapting to a new climate and integrating into host communities. With their old houses and farmland lost to the reservoir, the returnees have no choice but to farm the fragile slopes above the reservoir, which poses serious threats to the surrounding environment.

Of special concern is the fact that the returnees, lacking access to sewage systems, pour wastewater directly into the reservoir, putting further strain on an already polluted body of water. (to be cont’d…)

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