Photovoices “Hydropower – Voices from Communities” is the reflection from the communities affected by the hydropower project in the SrePok river, the Vu Gia – Thu Bon river, Sekong river and Long Dai river in the Central Region – Highlands of Vietnam.
The Centre for Social Research and Development (CSRD) worked together with the communities to develop this collection of photovoices. These community voices feflect the impact on the environment and society of hydropower projects in the region.
To develop hydropower plants in area Central, Central Highland thousands of households were relocated for resettlement. Affected communities include: community in Ben Van (Phu Loc district), Duong Hoa commune (Huong Thuy town), A Luoi district in Thua Thien Hue province, Nuoc Lang village (Phuoc Xuan commune), Thon 2 (Phuoc Hoa commune), Dai Hong commune (Dai Loc district) in Quang Nam province, Ea Tung village and Buon Drai (Ea Na commune) in Dak Lak province and Quang Binh province.
After many years of relocation, most of the households here have said that their new home life is more difficult than in the old place, in particular the issue of livelihod and the environment.

Dead fish because water pollution on the Ta Trach reservoir (Thua Thien Hue province).

“Since the hydropower dams, valuable fish species such as Chinh output fell 90 percent, Lau decreased 90 percent, Sao decreased 90 percent and somespecies disappeared such as Bin, Bop.” Ms Phan Thi Qua – Research group for indigenous knowledge (RGIK) in Ben Van (Thua Thien Hue province).

Lack of land, forests are destroyed (Photo in A Luoi hydropower dam, Thua Thien Hue province).

Since the relocation to new resettlement areas stock breeding activities are reduced more than before. The number of cows, herd are reduced by lack of land, settlement houses are “hot in the summer and wet in the winter”, some of the civil equiment is still not guaranted to meet the daily needs of the people, people are helpess to protect their property due to lack of information about the dam’s storage and water discharge,…

Life’s the river is destroyed (Dai Hong commune, dai Loc district, Quang Nam province).
Beside their schooling, two sisters, H-Rich aged 13 years and H-Trang aged 12 years must work to help their parents.

The impact hydropower dam bring for communities people are constantly calling for the support of the authorities to address their difficulties. However, these requests for help have not been satisfactorily resolved. Instead of investing in hydropower, Vietnam should focus on the energysources such as wind power, solar power,…to minimize the impact on people’s lives.

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By Thanh Tam

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