Villagers vow they won't give up homes for dam | Bangkok Post: news

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Villagers vow they won't give up homes for dam

Locals in Tambon Sa-Iab on the Yom River have been organised against a government-initiated deluge for years. Now with the Kaeng Sua Ten project back on the table as part of a massive flood control scheme, they're gearing up for another showdown

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As soon as staff from an engineering consultancy company arrived at the site of the proposed Kaeng Sua Ten dam project in Phrae province late last month, a scuffle broke out between them and locals from the nearby village of Sa-Iab. Later there was another brief confrontation between officials trying to install water level monitors in the Yom River and villagers who tried to stop them. The officials were surrounded and finally driven out of Sa-Iab in a scene reminiscent of one 10 years ago when villagers seized staff from a consultancy firm employed by the World Bank, injuring some of them. 

RIDING ON RESISTANCE: The local sentiments are spelled out clearly on a road in Phrae’s Song district, where villagers have long mounted a fight against government plans to construct a dam on the Yom River.

The incidents are indicative of the opposition the dam project has faced since its inception in 1978 as part of a water diversion scheme for the Kok, Yom and Nan rivers in the northern region of the Chao Phaya watershed.

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