Serepok River is a tributary of the Mekong River. According to research by experts at home and abroad, Srepok river was assessed as potential hydropower and irrigation to contribute to the economic development of Đắk Lắk province and central highlands.
Buon Kuop hydropower projects with installed capacity of 280 MW and 68.7 MW capacity guarantee is built on the Srepok river districts of Krong No district and Krong Ana district. Estimated total investment of hydropower projects is 4,588.125 million dong Buon Kuop.
Situated in the reservoir area was 2 Ea Na, Krong Ana district, Dak Lak province and Nam Da commune, Krong No, Dal Nong province.
Buon Kuop Hydropower dam, has resulted in devastating social and environmental impacts. The people living in the Ea Na area, Krong Ana district, Dak Lak province are very poor. The operation of the hydropower dam has caused environmental degradation, increasingly degraded forests, contaminated water sources and erosion of the river banks. In addition, the fishery resources in the rivers are declining, livelihoods and the lives of the people dependent on the river resources are increasingly precarious.
‘Our life before the hydropower dam was not this difficult, but since the dam was built and the river is drying up life is becoming harder. People like us who can not reflect to the government the difficulties that we are encountering until Centre for Social Research and Development (CSRD) organize seminars, forums’, Mr Yhai Kbuor, Village Chief of Buon Drai, Ea Na Commune, Krong Ana district, Dak Lak province, said.
Some families have been resettled to new areas but the land they have been given is not suitable to grow enough food. Many children have been forced to drop out of school early in order to work to provide money to help their parents buy food.
The people are struggling but so far the issues they face have not been resolved. They still live in difficult deprivation and fear daily of the effect of the hydroelectric power dam. The future generations of these people are at great risk. They have sacrificed for the development of Viet Nam with no help in their difficult lives. There needs to be a clear definitive way to solve the issues these people face so that the benefits can be shared equally.
By Thanh Tam