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[Duurzaamlijst] re: (50 Years) Thailand: Assembly of the Poor letter to Wolfensohn

> ** Original Subject: (50 Years) Thailand: Assembly of the Poor letter to Wolfensohn
> ** Original Sender: Soren <Soren@afgj.org>
> ** Original Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2000 18:20:30 +0200

> ** Original Message follows... 

> From: DanBeeton@excite.com
> What follows is the text of the letter to James Wolfensohn from the Assembly
> of the Poor and other villagers whose livelihoods and lives have been
> threatened by the World Bank-sponsored Pak Mun Dam on the Mun River in
> Thailand. This letter was delivered to a World Bank official on Wednesday,
> June 14, and portions of it were read over a bullhorn outside the World
> Bank.
> June 5, 2000
> Mr. James Wolfensohn 
> President 
> The World Bank 
> 1818 H Street, NW
> Washington, D.C.
> Dear Mr. Wolfensohn,
> We, the villagers affected by the Pak Mun Dam and Assembly of the Poor,
> write to you from the fenced off car park and area around the crest of the
> Pak Mun dam. One thousand of us have been living here since May 15, 2000 to
> demand the dam's flood gates be opened permanently to allow fish migrating
> out of the Mekong to pass through to spawn upstream.
> Ten years ago the World Bank and EGAT destroyed our livelihoods through the
> construction of the Pak Mun dam. We were promised a better way of life but
> instead our fisheries were decimated and our communities destroyed. Over the
> past ten years we have learnt that compensation will not solve our problems
> and will only cause new problems. We believe that the only way forward for
> our communities is for the dam to be decommissioned and the river restored. 
> The World Commission on Dams (WCD) Summary for Forum: March 24, 2000, found
> that "the actual [fish] catch in the reservoir and to a lesser extent also
> the river reach immediately upstream of the reservoir is 60% to 80% less
> than in the pre-dam era. The unexpected impacts of Pak Mun dam included
> dramatic decrease in fish species, fish abundance and productivity; lower
> fishing income for the households and changes in fishing occupation, fishing
> pattern, food expense, and the resultant social, economic and political
> consequences. The Pak Mun dam has affected aquatic biodiversity and relative
> abundance of fish populations up and down stream of the dam. The head pond
> has inundated and destroyed significant spawning habitat habitats such as
> rapids."
> The Summary for Forum also said "it is now clear that the fish ladder is not
> accommodating seasonal fish migration from the Mekong River into Mun/Chi
> Watershed. The Pak Mun dam, with only 136 MW installed capacity, de facto
> seals off a catchment area of 117,000 square km. Fish migration only takes
> place in flood period, usual in August and September, when the flood gates
> are sometimes open. However the peak fish migration period is from May to
> June, at the start of rainy season. Of the 265 species record in the Mun
> watershed before 1994, 77 species were migratory. Furthermore 35 species
> depended on rapid habitat by the Pak Mun reservoir. The latest survey after
> dam construction record only 96 species upstream of the dam. There has been
> an apparent impact on 169 fish species."
> According to the Summary Report, the 136 MW Pak Mun scheme was designed to
> operate as peaking plant, using the storage of the reservoir for daily
> operation. During wet months Pak Mun cannot turbine the whole daily in flow
> in the 4 hours peak demand period and must generate power in off-peak hours
> as well. When the water levels in the Mekong are very high, the power plant
> will be shutdown for lack of generating head. 
> Inspection of Pak Mun's monthly energy generation value indicate that in
> April and May, which are the most critical month in terms of power system
> demand and hydro availability, not more than about 5 GWh is produced. If
> this output is spread evenly over the 4 hours peaking period, the equivalent
> capacity is about 40 MW. 
> The WCD report said that the economic rate of return of the dam is between
> 4.6 to 5.6%, less than the projected 12%. 
> Moreover, the WCD found that the actual irrigations benefit are zero.
> Therefore, we call on the World Bank to take responsibility for the
> destruction you have caused to our lives and to the ecology and fisheries of
> the Mun River. We demand the World Bank work with the Thai government to
> decommission Pak Mun dam by opening the flood gates permanently and
> restoring the Mun River.
> Yours sincerely,
> Affected villagers by Pak Mun Dam and Assembly of the Poor
> ===========================================================
> 50 Years Is Enough Network           http://www.50years.org
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>** --------- End Original Message ----------- **

Call for action.

Write also to the president of the World Bank in support of the people of Thailand.
Send a copy to:
email: stop-wb-imf@50years.org 

ABC Amsterdam
(anarchist basisdemocratic centre)
email: abcadam@dds.nl
gerard w.schut


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