Mekong Utility Watch

Pak Mun demonstration

March 26, 1999
Eight villager groups affected by various development projects have united in struggle at the Pak Mun dam site in Thailand. Eight villager groups affected by various development projects have united in struggle at the Pak Mun dam site in Thailand. On March 23,1999, 5,000 villagers from 8 groups who have been affected by existing dams, planned dams, and land rights issues united in struggle for justice by seizing the Pak Mun Dam. Villagers have set up a temporary village on the left bank of the Mun River, and intend to stay until their demands have been met. Villagers are having problems getting fresh drinking water and have no electricity. As of March 25, 1999, no representative from the Government had come to the site to receive the demands.
The following is a summary of the problems and demands from each group.

1. Pak Mun Dam:
Affected villagers: Villagers from Khong Chiam District, Piboon Mungsahan District,Tan Sum District, and Sawang Veerawong District, Ubon Ratchathani Province.

The Problems:
1. Drastically reduced numbers of fish in the Mun River, and the livelihoods of 3080 families affected by decreased fish catches since dam construction. A $1 million fish ladder, promoted by the World Bank and EGAT as a mitigation measure, is virtually useless.
2. A 50% increase in the incidence of intestinal fluke, an unknown increase in the incidence of liver fluke, and a potential spread of schistosomiasis from snail vectors inhabiting the reservoir.

Demands:
1. Land compensation of 15 Rai (2.4 acres) per family for the lost fisheries income.

2. Measures to correct and prevent the problems villagers are now experiencing with intestinal and liver flukes, and prevention of the debilitating disease schistosomiasis.
Agreement with the Government before demonstration: On April 17 and 29, 1997 the Cabinet of Gen.Chawalit’s Government agreed to pay compensation, but on June 30, 1998 the Chuan Government canceled this agreement.

2. Lam Can Chu Dam:
Affected villagers: Villagers from Thepsatit District, Bam Net Narong District, and Jaturat District, Chayapum Province.

The Problems:
1. Loss of natural forest areas, which provided the villagers with food and income.

2. Royal Irrigation Department has never paid compensation for loss of land, fruit trees and houses due to inundation from the reservoir.

3. Water shortages downstream due to the storage of water in the reservoir, and river channelization.

4. No irrigation system in the downstream areas.

Demands:
1. Land compensation of 15 Rai (2.4 acres) per family for those resettled by the project.

2. The RID must build the irrigation system for the villagers downstream.

3. Sirindhorn Dam:
Affected villagers: 2526 families from Piboon Mangsahan District, Sirindhorn District, and Boontarig District, Ubon Ratchathani Province.

Problem: 2526 families affected by Sirindhorn Dam construction in 1969 have not yet received compensation.

Demands: 15 Rai (2.4 acres) of land per family for compensation.
Agreement with the Government before demonstration: On April 17 and 29, 1997 Cabinet of Gen. Chawalit’s Government agreed to pay compensation, but the Government could not buy the land for this. On June 30, 1998 the Chuan Government canceled this agreement.

4. Huai Pai Dam:

Affected villagers: Villagers in Amnat Charoen Province.

Problem: Loss of land.

Demands: Land compensation for resettlement.

5. Phrong Khun Phet Dam Project:
Affected villagers: Villagers from Thepsatit District and Nhong Bua Raheaw District, Chayaphum Province.

Problem: Villagers would be affected by project construction.

Demand: To shelve the project.

6. Lam Dom Yai Dam Project:
Affected villagers: Villagers from Detcha Udom District, Na Jaluay District, amd Nam Tuen District, Ubon Ratchathani Province.

Problem: Villagers will be affected by project construction.

Demand: To shelve the project.

7. Affected villagers by National Reserve Forest and National Park expansion in Ubon

Ratchathani:
Affected villagers: Villagers from Khong Chiam District, Piboon Mungsahan District, Sirindhorn District, Ubon Ratchathani Province.

Problem: Impacted by the expansion of the territory of Pa Lan Phu National Reserve Forest, Pa Don Hin National Reserve Forest, Pha Taem National Park, and Kaeng Tana National Park.

Demand: Separate the land and communities from the Reserve Forests and National Parks.
8. Pa Na Yang Glug:

Affected villagers: Villagers from Baan Non Sawan and Baan Theppana, Baan Rai Sub -district, Thepsatit District, Chayaphum Province.

Problem: Impacted by the expansion of the territory of Pha Hin Ngam National Park, and Wang Langga Wildlife Sanctuary.

Demand: The Government must give land rights to the villagers.
Agreement with the Government before demonstration: On April 29, 1997 the Cabinet of Gen.Chawalit has resolution to give land rights to the villagers. But, it was canceled by Chuan Goverment.On March 23,1999, 5,000 villagers from 8 groups who have been affected by existing dams, planned dams, and land rights issues united in struggle
for justice by seizing the Pak Mun Dam. Villagers have set up a temporary village on the left bank of the Mun River, and intend to stay until their demands have been met. Villagers are having problems getting fresh drinking water and have no electricity. As of March 25,
1999, no representative from the Government had come to the site to receive the demands.

The following is a summary of the problems and demands from each group.

1. Pak Mun Dam:

Affected villagers: Villagers from Khong Chiam District, Piboon Mungsahan District,Tan Sum District, and Sawang Veerawong District, Ubon Ratchathani Province.

The Problems:

1. Drastically reduced numbers of fish in the Mun River, and the livelihoods of 3080 families affected by decreased fish catches since dam construction. A $1 million fish ladder, promoted by the World Bank and EGAT as a mitigation measure, is virtually useless.

2. A 50% increase in the incidence of intestinal fluke, an unknown increase in the incidence of liver fluke, and a potential spread of schistosomiasis from snail vectors inhabiting the reservoir.

Demands:

1. Land compensation of 15 Rai (2.4 acres) per family for the lost fisheries income.

2. Measures to correct and prevent the problems villagers are now experiencing with intestinal and liver flukes, and prevention of the debilitating disease schistosomiasis.

Agreement with the Government before demonstration: On April 17 and 29, 1997 the Cabinet of Gen.Chawalit’s Government agreed to pay compensation, but on June 30, 1998 the Chuan Government canceled this agreement.

2. Lam Can Chu Dam:

Affected villagers: Villagers from Thepsatit District, Bam Net Narong District, and Jaturat District, Chayapum Province.

The Problems:

1. Loss of natural forest areas, which provided the villagers with food and income.

2. Royal Irrigation Department has never paid compensation for loss of land, fruit trees and houses due to inundation from the reservoir.

3. Water shortages downstream due to the storage of water in the reservoir, and river channelization.

4. No irrigation system in the downstream areas.

Demands:

1. Land compensation of 15 Rai (2.4 acres) per family for those resettled by the project.

2. The RID must build the irrigation system for the villagers downstream.

3. Sirindhorn Dam:

Affected villagers: 2526 families from Piboon Mangsahan District, Sirindhorn District, and Boontarig District, Ubon Ratchathani Province.

Problem: 2526 families affected by Sirindhorn Dam construction in 1969 have not yet received compensation.

Demands: 15 Rai (2.4 acres) of land per family for compensation.

Agreement with the Government before demonstration: On April 17 and 29, 1997 Cabinet of Gen. Chawalit’s Government agreed to pay compensation, but the Government could not buy the land for this. On June 30, 1998 the Chuan Government canceled this agreement.

4. Huai Pai Dam:

Affected villagers: Villagers in Amnat Charoen Province.

Problem: Loss of land.

Demands: Land compensation for resettlement.

5. Phrong Khun Phet Dam Project:

Affected villagers: Villagers from Thepsatit District and Nhong Bua Raheaw District, Chayaphum Province.

Problem: Villagers would be affected by project construction.

Demand: To shelve the project.

6. Lam Dom Yai Dam Project:

Affected villagers: Villagers from Detcha Udom District, Na Jaluay District, amd Nam Tuen District, Ubon Ratchathani Province.

Problem: Villagers will be affected by project construction.

Demand: To shelve the project.

7. Affected villagers by National Reserve Forest and National Park expansion in Ubon Ratchathani:

Affected villagers: Villagers from Khong Chiam District, Piboon Mungsahan District, Sirindhorn District, Ubon Ratchathani Province.

Problem: Impacted by the expansion of the territory of Pa Lan Phu National Reserve Forest, Pa Don Hin National Reserve Forest, Pha Taem National Park, and Kaeng Tana National Park.

Demand: Separate the land and communities from the Reserve Forests and National Parks.

8. Pa Na Yang Glug:

Affected villagers: Villagers from Baan Non Sawan and Baan Theppana, Baan Rai Sub -district, Thepsatit District, Chayaphum Province.

Problem: Impacted by the expansion of the territory of Pha Hin Ngam National Park, and Wang Langga Wildlife Sanctuary.

Demand: The Government must give land rights to the villagers.

Agreement with the Government before demonstration: On April 29, 1997 the Cabinet of Gen.Chawalit has resolution to give land rights to the villagers. But, it was canceled by Chuan Goverment.

Categories: Mekong Utility Watch

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