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the-three-gorges-dam-pres2[1] - Three Gorges Dam The Human...

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Three Gorges Dam – The Human Cost The Three Gorges Dam (simplified Chinese: 长长长长长长; traditional Chinese: 长长长长长长; pinyin: Chángjiāng Sānxiá Dà Bà) is a hydroelectric river dam that spans the Yangtze River in Sandouping, Yichang, Hubei, China. It is the largest hydro- electric power station in the world. The total electric generating capacity of the dam will reach 22,500 megawatts. [1] Several generators are yet to be installed; the dam is not expected to become fully operational until about 2011. [2] Types of development projects causing displacement Table 2. Distribution of displacees by cause of displacement in World Bank projects (active in 1993) with resettlement Cause Projects Percentage People Percentage Dams, irrigation, canals 46 31.5 1,304,000 66.4 Urban infrastructure, water supply, sewerage, transportation 66 45.2 443,000 22.6 Thermal (including mining) 15 10.3 94,000 4.8 Other 19 13.0 122,000 6.2 Total World Bank 146 100 1,963,000 100
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More than 1.4 million people have been relocated to allow for the water to rise behind the massive dam, the largest hydroelectric project in the world . The dam, which has a 410-mile long reservoir, is supposed to end flooding along the Yangtze River and provide clean energy alternative to coal. The Government ignored critics who claimed that the Three Gorges, first proposed nearly a century ago and immortalised in a poem by Mao Zedong, was an ecological disaster waiting to happen. Now those same officials who oversaw construction of the £13 billion dam admit that surrounding areas are paying a heavy, and potentially calamitous, environmental cost. Hundreds of thousands of people may have to be moved. A total of 1.3 million have been displaced by the dam already . The reservoir already has forced 1.4 million people out of their homes amid criticism the project has wreaked ecological havoc and forced people to move to places where they cannot make a living . On Friday, state media and the region’s local government signaled rising concern over the dam’s impact, saying as many as several million more people would have to be moved from areas adjacent to the reservoir in a form of “environmental migration .” This recent announcement of an increase in displacement of citizens from the Yangtze region comes too soon after a report was issued in September of 2007, highlighting major environmental problems caused by the dam including erosion, sedimentation, and possible water quality problems.
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