Viet Nam News
NGHỆ AN — Residents in mountainous districts of central Nghệ An Province are witnessing the rampant construction of hydropower plants, which have had a negative impact on their daily life and production.
The province is home to 32 hydropower plant projects with total capacity of 1,324 MW. Some plants are operational already, while others are still on paper and awaiting permission.
Of the 32 hydropower plants, 11 are in mountainous Quế Phong District, eight are in Kỳ Sơn District and six are located in Tương Dương District.
Three hydropower plants are operating within a 1km radius from the Nậm Mộ River in Kỳ Sơn District. There are plans to develop another hydropower plant project close to the river.
Kha Văn Ót, vice chairman of Tương Dương District People’s Committee, said the construction of the Bản Vẽ Hydropower Plant with capacity of 320MW had displaced almost 3,000 families.
Residential areas in six communes and nearly 5,500ha of production land had been utilised to make room for the plant.
“Too many hydropower plants have blocked almost all of the river and springs,” he said.
“Locals hardly see any benefits from the plants, but they can clearly see the negative impact on the environment and the people,” he told the Giao thông (Transport) newspaper.
Phạm Trọng Hoàng, secretary of Tương Dương District Party Committee, said there were two springs left in the district and there were already plans to develop two hydropower plant projects there.
“We don’t want more plants destroying our ecosystem and affecting the lives of the people in both the lower and the upper part of the rivers,” he said.
Eight families in Kỳ Sơn District had their houses swept away since the Nậm Mô Hydropower plant released water unannounced.
The Chi Khê Hydropower plant in Cam Lâm Commune, Con Cuông District, which once stored water for a trial operation, also caused flooding by submerging the houses of the locals and production land.
A member of Nghệ An Province People’s Council and director of the province police Nguyễn Hữu Cầu said too many hydropower plants had resulted in problems, including the loss of forest and production land, resettlement issue and more flash floods.
In some cases, residents had moved to new resettlement areas but failed to adapt to the life there. They returned and lived illegally in the hydropower plant’s catchment area despite the danger when plants released water. — VNS