Wednesday, June 29, 2005

After the Dam

The Three Gorges Probe news service has an English translation of an article that appeared in the Hubei Daily, about some of the human costs of the Three Gorges Dam:
The people of Wangusi village on the Xiangxi River, a major Yangtze tributary 45 kilometres upstream of the Three Gorges dam, have seen their way of life dramatically altered by the filling of the reservoir.

The 2,890 villagers, in 804 households, have faced tremendous difficulty getting across the river since the Three Gorges reservoir was filled to 135 metres above sea level in June 2003. This is because when the water suddenly rose 70 metres, the river also became much wider, and more expensive to cross...

...On many occasions they have looked in helpless frustration across the river to their fields, and to the town of Xiangxi, with its shops, schools and hospital. Sometimes, they have paid a tragically high price for the problems they now face in getting to the other side.

On Aug. 14 last year, villager Xiong Zuozheng was desperate to get his daughter, who was undergoing a difficult labour, to the hospital across the river. The boat took a long time to arrive, and although the woman survived the ordeal, the delay of more than an hour cost the life of the baby.
As they say, read the rest. And take heart that there are Chinese journalists out there who are reporting these stories, with editors and publishers who are willing to print them.

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