Three Gorges Probe

Huge China dam costly to farmers

by Jehangir S. Pocha , The Boston Globe

December 25, 2006

Chongqing, China: Officials here say the mammoth Three Gorges Dam Project along the historic Yangtze River will control deadly flooding, provide electricity to millions of people, and create vital inland navigation along a 400-mile long reservoir.

 

But behind the project’s promise and grandeur — the $30 billion endeavor is widely billed as the world’s largest construction project — lie stories of corruption, land seizures, and despair. According to farmers displaced by the project, local officials routinely violate the rights of the 1.2 million people being moved off their land to make room for the dam’s massive reservoir, and firmly suppress stirrings of protest.

Fang De Gui, 41, is a recently unemployed man in Guangtiangou commune in China’s central Chongqing province, just west of Hubei, where a large part of the Three Gorges Dam’s reservoir will stand. He said the project might have been conceived to enrich and develop China, but has ended by costing his family and friends their land and livelihoods. Read the full story.

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