Halt Construction of Dams on Major Chinese River

Target: Ministry of Water Resources

Goal: Halt construction of dams in the Nu River

The Nu river in China is one of few remaining rivers yet to be dammed. The river starts as a slow trickle from a glacier in the Himalayas, which then flows through the Myanmar jungles, and gurgles out to the Andaman Sea. The river is at least 1700 miles long and is one of China’s wildest and most free-flowing rivers. So when the Chinese government decided to revive plans of constructing hydro-power dams along the river, many environmentalists and farmers were stunned.

The impact of constructing the dams is extremely detrimental to the environment, the people, and the wildlife in question. The dams will also impact other nations, as the river cuts through Myanmar and Thailand; an element of tension in the construction. The Chinese government claims the construction is environmentally friendly, but environmentalists disagree. The project will displace tens of thousands of ethnic minorities in the Yunnan region, and destroy the spawning grounds of local fish. Villages that are nearby the river will mostly become flooded and the people will be forced to live in cramped government sanctioned housing. The dams will also stop silt – an essential ingredient for farmers growing their crops – from flowing downriver. Also, the land along the river is known for frequent landslides. Because the land is not structurally sound, some geologists believe that the Chinese government is acting irresponsibly.  Fisherman in both Myanmar and Thailand are also concerned because the construction of dams could affect their livelihoods.

The people who live in the region and survive on the land are furious, yet understand that they can do nothing about it. Other such projects have been completed in various other rivers, and those affected were unable to stop its progress. However the river Nu is considered the last stand for many environmentalists. Other nations have become furious because China has refused to hear their concerns. Sign this petition and tell the Ministry of Water Resources that this river should remain untouched.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ministry of Water Resources,

You have recently opened up plans to construct five dams in the Nu River. This very concerning because this river is one of the few rivers in China that has not been dammed. Both the local wildlife and humans living in the region will be impacted if such construction is completed. The spawning ground of fish will be destroyed, no doubt decreasing their chances for survival. Farmlands and villages will become flooded, forcing tens of thousands of people to relocate. These people have lived off of the land for generations; it is immoral to force them to move. The damming of the river will also prevent silt from migrating downriver to nourish the soil, where plants will possibly wither and die.

I implore you to halt the construction. The Nu River is one of China’s wildest rivers, and it is a river that runs through several countries. You will not only be affecting those in your country, but affecting the people in Thailand and Myanmar. Already many of China’s rivers have been dammed to power the country. Why can’t you leave one untouched?

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: International River via flickr

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One Comment

  1. Ruth Rogers says:

    Signed!

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