Home Civil Society Voices 2012 Civil Society Voices Secret Sarawak dam map released

Secret Sarawak dam map released

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The Bruno Manser Fund has released a secret Sarawak map of the proposed Baram Dam which it says could displace 20000 natives.

The Baram River

The Bruno Manser Fund has disclosed an exclusive map showing the extent of the proposed Baram mega dam whose realisation is bound to cause a social and environmental disaster in Malaysian Borneo.

The proposed 1000MW Baram Dam is one of 12 dams authorities in Sarawak are planning to build following the completion of the 2400MW Bakun Dam.

Expected flooded area of the Baram Dam - Map: BMF

According to the map based on intelligence and calculations by the Bruno Manser Fund, the 162-metre high Baram Dam would flood a rainforest area of 412km2 (41200 hectares) and at least 26 indigenous villages, causing the displacement of up to 20000 Sarawak natives.

The proposed dam is being planned by the Sarawak state government and Sarawak Energy, the implementing agency, in violation of international transparency standards. While the Sarawak government has started legal procedures to extinguish native rights for an access road to the dam site, the affected communities are deliberately being kept in the dark over the extent of the dam plans.

The proposed dam would cause havoc for the Kenyah, Kayan and Penan culture in the upper reaches of the Baram river, one of Borneo’s great rainforest streams. Many of their villages would be submerged and would literally cease to exist. Traditional longhouse communities in the dam’s downstream areas would also have to face drastic changes and pollution of the riverine ecosystem, affecting river transport, fishery, irrigation and access to drinking water.

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According to information obtained by the Bruno Manser Fund, the following villages and longhouse communities would cease to exist upon construction of the dam:

Village / Longhouse
Long Na’ah
Long Liam
Long Tebangan
Long Anyat
Ba Keluan
Western Penan
Long Beku
Western Penan
Long Luding
Western Penan
Long Item
Eastern Penan
Long Dilo
Eastern Penan
Long Lutin
Eastern Penan
Long Kawi
Eastern Penan
Long Segayang
Eastern Penan
Ba Abang / Long Sepatai
Eastern Penan
Long San
Regional Centre (mainly Kenyah)
Long Tap
Long Selatong Dikan
Long Selatong Tanjung Tepalit
Long Apu
Long Julan
Long Julan Pelutan
Long Anap
Long Palai
Long Silat
Long Selawan
Long Je’eh
Long Makabar

Downstream villages and longhouses that are to be negatively affected by the dam plans include the regional centres of Marudi and Long Lama as well as the villages and longhouse of Long Keseh, Long Pila, Long Laput, Kejaman, Long Pelutan, Uma Bawang and others.

The Bruno Manser Fund calls on the Sarawak state government and on Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) as implementing agency to halt all further works on the controversial project and immediately release all official studies on the planned Baram Dam.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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Jangan Lawan Towkay
Jangan Lawan Towkay
24 Apr 2012 11.37pm

Building mega dams is an easy way to make tons of money for the beloved Government – from timber to be harvested before flooding it, from vast fertile lands to be drowned, from tons of concrete to be sold by the state monopoly CMS,from surplus electricity to be sold cheaply to foreign factories, etc.

As if the giant Bakun Dam is not enough, plus others like Batang Ai, Bengoh, etc.

Now another 12 mega dams? What for? Is Sarawak so power hungry?

Will the people enjoy cheap electricity.

Will the roads and houses be lighted up by so much surplus power?

Or will the rural folks continue to live in darkness?

Time to wake up!

24 Mar 2012 9.02pm

Congratulations, very interesting article. The World Bank estimates that forcible “development-induced displacement and resettlement” now affects 10 million people per year. According to the World Bank an estimated 33 million people have been displaced by development projects such as dams, urban development and irrigation canals in India alone. India is well ahead in this respect. A country with as many as over 3600 large dams within its belt can never be the exceptional case regarding displacement. The number of development induced displacement is higher than the conflict induced displacement in India. According to Bogumil Terminski an estimated more than 10 million people have been displaced by development each year. Athough the exact number of development-induced displaced people (DIDPs) is difficult to know, estimates are that in the last decade 90–100 million people have been displaced by urban, irrigation and power projects alone, with the number of people displaced by urban development becoming greater than those displaced by large infrastructure projects (such as dams). DIDPs outnumber refugees, with the added problem that their plight is often more concealed. This is what experts have termed “development-induced displacement.” According… Read more »

najib manaukau
25 Feb 2012 8.41am

Where ever a dam is built people are bound to be affected so will the Sarawak dam. Therefore it is imperative that very serious and careful consideration must be given before the dam is built.
To start off with, due considerations must be given if any alternatives are looked into and if there is any available.
In this case, the construction of the Sarawak dam is not a necessity at all but it was done with the simple purpose to enrich some well connected individuals and no considerations what so ever are ever being given to the natives, the natives’ rights and their cultures and ways of lives are ever looked into. To stop this from going further just vote the present regime out of their ivory towers once and for all times in the coming GE ! Period.

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