The Bruno Manser Fund has released a secret Sarawak map of the proposed Baram Dam which it says could displace 20000 natives.
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.
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.
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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.
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
Ba Abang / Long Sepatai
Regional Centre (mainly Kenyah)
Long Selatong Dikan
Long Selatong Tanjung Tepalit
Long Julan Pelutan
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.