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Villagers protest Namtu hydropower project

२०७६ मङ्सिर १० गते मङ्गलवार

Talong, which lies on the banks of the Namtu above the dam project site in Thibaw township in northern Shan, is located in an active war zone.

Construction of the dam is being carried out by a consortium of Chinese, Swiss and Japanese companies. U Sai Sam Tip hoped to meet with residents on Sunday to discuss the advantages of the project but the villagers refused to meet him.

Nang Lao Kham, one of the protesters said, “We don’t need to see him because we have voiced our opposition to the construction of the dam repeatedly but he has ignored us.”

Talong is well-known for its sweet, organically grown oranges. Many villagers own at least two acres of orange groves, earning K19.6 million (US$12,937) per year, according to villagers.

The villagers worry that the dam’s reservoir would submerge the village of nearly 700 people, as well as ancient historical sites and fertile farmland.

Three other large dams are planned on the Namtu – which is also known as the Myitnge – including the 735-megawatt Middle Yeywa dam planned by Norway’s state-owned SN Power in Nawngcho township. It sits on the Kyaukkyan fault, the epicentre of the biggest earthquake in the country’s history.

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