What life is like for residents displaced by hydropower plants

Thanh Nien News

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A Vietnamese NGO is working on a project to collect hundreds of photos taken by residents in four central provinces to show how hydropower plants have affected their lives, Tuoi Tre reported.
The project, which started last year, is sponsored by Germany’s Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, an alternative policy group and educational institution.
The Center for Social Research and Development, based in the central city of Hue, has so far collected more than 300 photo entries sent by residents in Quang Nam, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Binh and Dak Lak.
The project provided cameras for a number of residents in the provinces. Most of the photos show water was polluted, aquatic resources were lost and paddy fields were submerged, while resettlement houses for displaced residents were in poor conditions.
Le Van Trong, 61, of Dak Lak Province said his family had been in debt as they had to buy farming land elsewhere after they were relocated for a hydropower project.
His family is among hundreds of households in Ea Na Commune having their lives changed because of the project.
“We lost a lot of things because of hydropower so we took photos hoping authorities will see and help us,” he said.
The most outstanding photos will be selected for the photobook entitled “Community Voices.” Here are some of the photos in the Tuoi Tre report.  
Residents in a rural village in Quang Nam Province, who were relocated for Dak Mi 4 Hydropower Plant, plant trees for wood to make a living as the land is too barren for crop farming. Photo: Ho Van Tat
Residents in Quang Nam Province's Dai Loc District gather for evacuation before a local hydropower plant discharges flood waters during the rainy season. Photo: Ba Quoc
Tran My and his wife Le Thi Chi of Thua Thien-Hue Province, who had been fishing on the Ta Trach River for around 40 years, said their job became more difficult after a hydropower dam came into operation. Photo: Le Van Thanh
This 92-year-old man named Bua and his 82-year-old wife in Quang Nam Province make their living by selling firewood after they are relocated to a resettlement area. Photo: Ba Quoc
Residents fish on a hydropower dam in Thua Thien-Hue Province after their river was blocked. Photo: Ho Van Tro 

The lower section of the Vu Gia River through Quang Nam Province’s Dai Loc District dries up after Dak Mi 4 Hydropower Plant blocks the river. Photo: Le Van Tam

The water level of the Seropok River in Dak Lak Province increases sharply after the operation of a hydropower dam, submerging the crops of local residents. Photo: Le Van Quy 

The Long Dai River in Quang Binh Province, where six hydropower dams will be built on. Photo: Nguyen Van Trang
Farmers harvest peanuts in Thua Thien Hue Province's Huong Thuy Town. The farmers said the land has become barren, leading to lower yield, because of Ta Trach Hydropower Plant. Photo: Truong Van Huy
Relocated residents in a resettlement area in Quang Nam Province. Photo: Tran Ba Quoc
The dam of Ta Trach Hydropower Plant on the river of the same name. Photo: Nguyen Van Thanh
A dry section of the Vu Gia River in Quang Nam Province. Photo: Ba Quoc

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