Yesterday, a debate went on about the controversial three gorges dam. Many groups of people were involved, the Chinese government, the engineers, Amnesty international, the residents of the village Chang Chang and the residents who are being moved for the creation of the dam and Environmentalists. All the groups had a chance to talk.
The Chinese government went first. They talked about how the dam would save lives from flooding which is caused from the river. The dam is 185m high and 1.3 km wide. They also said that the dam would create 18 million kilowatts of power per year and that this energy was clean energy. For every tree lost in the reservoir, the government have promised to plant another one. They added that for all the people who will have to move, they have already built bigger houses. An attempt has been made by the authorities to save heritage and priceless artefacts. They pointed out that ships can get past the dam which would help neighbouring towns.
The engineers spoke next. They talked about the dam and how it can stand a 7.0 on Richter scale. The dam would provide 10% of China’s electricity needs. Better water supplies for farming and better navigation for ships are some of the plus points. There is also a way to get around it. They also added that the project is going to cost around 40 billion pounds.
Then, spokespeople from Amnesty International. They talked about other re-settlement projects which the Chinese government have done and how they have not cared about the people. After 40 years of being resettled, many other people still live in poverty. They also said it would waste land and heritage would be lost. Also, they think that the Chinese government may run out of money before the project is over. Thirteen cities are being moved and Amnesty International says that it impossible to this vast amount of people into new, better cities.
After that the villagers of Chang Chang talked. These were the people who are affected of the flash floods which they occur one a year. These people talked about the regular devastation of crops and how many of them lose family in the flood. They told the people at the debate about how they live in fear and that every time it floods, the community is shattered. Many have had to re-build their houses because of the flooding; they want to build the dam. The Geologists were concerned of the consequences of the dam. The construction vehicles are giving out a lot of pollution. They were also concerned that a delta could form, which would block an important port, which this dam is supposed to help prosper.
The river carries 90% domestic waste and 70% industrial waste which could mean there is a problem. They also pointed out that the dam will not have a control of the flooding because of the tributaries of the Yangtze. Arsenic, Mercury, Cyanide, Lead and other heavy metals will be present in the water which is going to be used to irrigate the land. They also believe that the dam will contribute to the extinction of the white flag dolphin.
When the residents who are being moved for this project spoke, they didn’t trust what the Chinese government said as the heard previous stories from other people and it was their choice to stay in the area, not the governments. Hundreds of livelihoods and homes would be lost and it is hard to get water to the new farming areas. They don’t want to bring up their children in poverty but the sad fact is that 40% of 10 million people after 40 years are still in poverty so they cannot provide for their family. Sometimes 40 generations of home wasted which means it’s a disgrace for the family because they cannot provide.