Bakun: Publicise rescue plan before impoundment


(The Malaysian Mirror) MIRI –  The government has been told to publicise its Emergency Rescue Plan before it starts the impoundment of the Bakun dam.

Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd should hold off its flooding trial run for the dam until an Emergency Rescue Plan (ERP) has been put in place and the public adequately informed of the procedures laid down under the plan, said Sarawak Conservation Alliance for Natural Environment (Scane).

Scane expressed anxiety about the safety of the dam and its adverse impact on riverine communities living downstream and upstream of the dam. The downstream communities include the people of numerous longhouses along the Rejang River who live directly below the dam and the residents of the Belaga township as well as other major towns such as Kapit, Song, Kanowit and

Within the impoundment area, there are more than a hundred native families living upstream, that is, at the Bakun dam’s reservoir and catchment area.

The Bakun Dam, Malaysia’s largest hydroelectric dam, is located on the Balui River in the upper Rejang River basin, some 37km upstream from Belaga township. Sarawak Hidro Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ministry of Finance Inc, is the owner and developer of the dam.

To this day, the government and the authorities concerned have not yet announced any plan that would take into account the potentially catastrophic environmental consequences of Bakun Dam on downstream communities.

So far, there has been no preparation on the part of the authorities to design relevant action plans that are able to address the problems that may arise downstream in the immediate future, as a result of the impoundment of the Balui River for the dam.

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