Power project leaves thousands homeless
  • By Huu Tri | | December 26, 2011 03:48 PM

Thousands of people in the central province of Quang Ngai have had their lives interrupted for more than a year after giving up their land for a hydro power project.


Homes built on barren and eroding hills 

The Nuoc Trong reservoir project, spanning the two districts of Son Ha and Tay Tra has made promises to local people about a stable resettlement area after taking their land.

Still, a year has gone by and the resettlement area consists of only a few house frames. Some of them have been built on barren hills that are eroding. Families do not dare to move into them.

According to the People’s Committee of Son Ha and Tay Tra districts, 5,000 people have left their houses and farms to make way for the Nuoc Trong water reservoir. The investor set up a board to take care of resettlement for local people. However, it has not been completed, even though the project itself is nearly finished.

Most of the houses found here are quite modest, built of bamboo and canvas. Head of Tre Village, Ho Minh Tri, said that they were promised new houses while seeing the destruction of their old ones, but to this day they are left without shelter.

"After seeing our living state, some people involved in the project compensated us with VND6 million (USD300) per household to build new homes. But they have not offered any resettlement area as they'd promised. We're being forced to find our own land to build a new homes," he said.

Tri revealed that some among 400 people from his village remain without any homes at all. “Our children had to leave their old schools and have to walk for hours through the forest to get to their new ones. This winter is hard on us. We're suffering from cold and hunger.”

Many other people in the area complain of hunger as well. The Tet holiday this year, which should be the most festive time of the year, is looking gloomy for these families.

Ho Van Truyen, Vice chairman of Tra Tho Commune People’s Committee, says that the situation angers him, but that his hands are tied.

The investors of the Nuoc Trong water reservoir are Quang Ngai Provincial People’s Committee, the Irrigation Construction Management Board No.6 and Nuoc Trong Electricity Joint Stock Company, with a total capital of roughly VND1.5 trillion. The project, which was licensed in 2008 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, was targeted to be completed and put into operation within two years.


  Forest destroyed by people in search of land 


Road to the village destroyed by the trucks building the reservoir


 House under construction for a year, not completed  


Deserted commune school 

  Furniture left because there is no place to move to 

 Families buy generators because they have no electricity service 


Water comes only from a nearby stream


 Woman is cooking in her 'new house’ which neighbors helped build

Some families prefer to stay  

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