Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Millions of people oppose hydropower in Vietnam

Hydropower can sometimes lead to significant environmental damage, and this is why an entire construction and studies have to be done extremely carefully in order to minimize negative environmental impact as much as possible.

In Vietnam, for instance, many residents have been complaining about the An Khe – Kanak Hydropower Plant,right from the monment it began to operate in 2005 because of the frequent floods and droughts caused by the plant.

There were some serious complaints such as discharging without warning a huge volume of water that washed away crops and even inundating many houses in the An Khe town causing total damage measured in billions.

These previous bad experiences are putting dark light on many of new hydro projects in the country, including the construction of  The Vinh Son 2 hydropower plant in the Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve.

This $45 million project with the capacity of 80 MW is receiving plenty of critics. Many fear that this dam, which is planned in a primitive forest with invaluable animal and plant species could inundate 265 hectares of primitive forest in the nature reserve and dry out 10km of the Say Stream in the dry season, leading to massive environmental damage.

On the other hand, the Vinh Son – Song Hinh Hydropower JSC claim that the dam would not cause any significant damage,  stating the damage of just 16 hectares of forest, including nine hectares of land and seven hectares of stream.

In any case, the government should look into reports from both sides before approving another hydropower project in the country.