Environmentalists from the Myanmar Green Network (MGN) on Saturday protested against the Myitsone dam project at the Ayeyawady River near Seinpangon Village in Madaya Township in Mandalay Region, part of a campaign to spread the word about risks to the country’s largest river through before an announcement is issued by the new commission for the dam project.
“The Myitsone dam project will seriously impact the natural environment and create socio-economic issues. That is why we made a campaign to protect the Ayeyawady River,” said U Maung Maung Oo, a campaigner from the Myanmar Green Network.
“The hydropower development project will not produce positive outcomes for the country,” he remarked.
The conservationist said the MGN made a survey of crop growers, fishermen and traders. He said he also wants the authorities to discontinue the project.
U Maung Maung Oo said the latest activity aims to send a message to the government about the objectives of the campaigners including public, civil society organisations and non-governmental bodies, all of whom wish for the project to be permanently halted.
Local residents have fought against the project since the days of the previous government, said Environmental Activist Ko Aung Gyi, who asked that authorities take the public’s opinion into account.
He added that illegal gold mining has also been occurring along the Ayeyawady, the country’s main commercial waterway.
According to Article 45 of the 2008 constitution, the government shall protect and conserve natural environment and Article 390 stated that every citizen has the duty to assist the Union in carrying out environmental conservation.
The then military government and China Power Investment Corporation inked an MoU to build the dam in 2006. After completion, 90 per cent of the power generated will be sold to China. —Aung Thant Khaing