Allarme degli studiosi: impatti “devastanti” per la quinta diga cinese sul Mekong
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secretly built d its fifth mega hydroelectric dam (Nọa Trác Độ) on the Upper
The project was set to be completed by the year. However,
environmentalists fear it will further upset the region's environment and
affect the lives of some 60 million people and their descendants.
comes from the Washington-based Stimson Center, which noted that the Nuozhadu
Dam in China's Yunnan province, together with four dams built previously, has
already altered the hydrology as well as the plant and animal life of the
Once it becomes operational, the
dam will generate about 24,000 GW of electricity per year, a godsend for
Beijing, which has been seeking new sources of power to fuel its industrial
production. Some 50,000 people were forced from their homes to give way to the
project. At the same time, the environment and the communities in various
nations living downstream from the dam, as far as the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, are
under a serious threat.
The study by the Stimson Center
indicates that the dam will cause "huge damages" to Myanmar, Laos, Thailand,
Cambodia and even Vietnam. For experts, it will change the river's flow, with a
huge negative impact on agriculture downstream. This will be the case especially
for the Lower Mekong region, in Vietnam, where seawater will invade ever-larger
areas of the delta.
Milton Osborne, an Australian
expert at the Lowy Institute, said
that the impact of China's fifth dam on the Mekong would indeed be "devastating"
despite Beijing's claims that "only 13.5 per cent" of the water in the Mekong as a
whole flows through China. However, during the dry season, that goes up to "40
per cent" of the river's volume overall, according to Osborne.
Discussions over the consequences
of existing and future dams on the Mekong have gone on for years since millions
of people depend on the river for fish, water and transportation.
Some 12 hydroelectric dams are
planned for the lower Mekong, which flows through Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. However,
China's existing and future dams are the most worrisome since the Mekong originates
in that country and covers a long stretch in it.
What is more, when it comes to
its dams, Beijing has been accused of lack of transparency, even though
international law requires that it provide information about its dams to all
the countries that could be impacted.
Paul N. Hung