Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sarawak NGO condemns water impoundment for Bakun dam

Sarawak Conservation Alliance for Natural Environment (SCANE)
Date: 13 October 2010

*SCANE condemns governments for allowing water impoundment for Bakun dam*

*Miri *(13 October 2010): Sarawak Conservation Alliance for Natural
Environment (SCANE) condemns both the Federal government of Malaysia and
the Sarawak State government action for permitting the Sarawak Hidro Sdn
Bhd to proceed with its water impoundment for Bakun Hydroelectric dam
without having any Emergency Rescue Plan (ERP) to encounter any
eventualities of environmental disasters due to dam failure.

SCANE has been informed that Sarawak Hidro will start with the water
impoundment for the dam as early as from today onward. On Monday, a
tragedy happened at the dam site where a long boat was capsized and a
man has been reported still missing.

Once again, SCANE warns the Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd not to start but stop
immediately the act of impounding water for Bakun dam by having failure
of coming up with any Emergency Rescue Plan (ERP) that guarantees the
safety of the communities living downstream of the dam. The government
(s) and the Sarawak Hidro should not too hastily to close the river
diversion tunnels to impound water for the dam until the ERP have been
drawn and the public at large are well informed of the plan and that all
precautionary measures are ready in place and operational.

Prior to the water impoundment for the dam, the communities downstream
and public at large should be adequately and extensive informed of the
adverse impacts of the dam as erecting of monstrous project like Bakun
dam could entail consequences, some of which might not have been
foreseen. SCANE fears that the impoundment of the dam may cause
environmental disorders that would eventually trigger earthquakes,
landslides and floods.

SCANE condemns the hasty act of dam impoundment and calls upon the
Government and Sarawak Hidro to put in place the security and emergency
plan prior to the water impoundment process for Bakun dam rather than
just totally overlooked these matters and simply gambles with nature,
human safety and security aspects of the dam.

Raymond Abin,

The National Coordinator

Sarawak Conservation Alliance for Natural Environment (SCANE)

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