Malaysian government to displace 20,000 Borneo natives for the proposed Baram dam – 26 villages and 412 square kilometres of tropical rainforest to be flooded
BASEL, SWITZERLAND, February 16, 2012 –/WORLD-WIRE/– The Bruno Manser Fund has today disclosed an exclusive map showing the extent of the proposed Baram mega dam whose realization is bound to cause a social and environmental disaster in Malaysian Borneo. The proposed 1000 MW Baram dam is one of twelve dams authorities in the Malaysian state of Sarawak are planning to build following the completion of the 2400 MW Bakun dam.
According to the map based on intelligence and calculations by the Bruno Manser Fund, the 162 meter high Baram dam would flood a rainforest area of 412 km2 (41’200 hectares) and at least 26 indigenous villages, causing the displacement of up to 20,000 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.
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||Culture|
|5||Ba Keluan||Western Penan|
|6||Long Beku||Western Penan|
|7||Long Luding||Western Penan|
|8||Long Item||Eastern Penan|
|9||Long Dilo||Eastern Penan|
|10||Long Lutin||Eastern Penan|
|11||Long Kawi||Eastern Penan|
|12||Long Segayang||Eastern Penan|
|13||Ba Abang / Long Sepatai||Eastern Penan|
|14||Long San||Regional Centre (mainly Kenyah)|
|16||Long Selatong Dikan||Kenyah|
|17||Long Selatong Tanjung Tepalit||Kenyah|
|20||Long Julan Pelutan||Kenyah|
Downstream villages and longhouses that are to be negatively affected by the dam plans include the regional centers 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.
Help us stop the Sarawak dam disaster by sending a protest letter to Sarawak Energy and the respective authorities in Malaysia and Sarawak under www.stop-corruption-dams.org
Please consult us for further information: