Tag Archives: downstream

‘Downstream Kotri’

By: M Khan Sial, Karachi, Sindh

This refers to letter of Choudhry Hamid Malhi, Lahore (Aug 7) headlined above.

It was unfair to claim the so-called study of downstream Kotri was conducted by WAPDA in 2005, had approval of Sindh government. First of all, what was justification for WAPDA to delay the already agreed important survey for long period of 14 years of signing the Accord? This shows the malafide intentions of WAPDA against Sindh and as such WAPDA should clarify the reasons for delay and fix responsibility for this?

It was on record, the Sindh government had rejected the said so-called survey conducted by WAPDA as Sindh govt was not taken on board. Attending one or two meetings if any, does not mean, its decision had Sindh Government’s final approval.

If there is any approval of the so-called survey by Sindh government, WAPDA should release the copy of the agreement in media showing signatures of all concerned.

Later, the Sindh government had arranged survey through an international organisation as its own and as per media, it was recommended to release at least 10 MAF water annually downstream Kotri whereas internationally organised IUCN had also conducted the survey separately that recommended release of 32 to 35 MAF water annually as mandatory requirement. It was claimed that in WAPDA’s survey even it was agreed that 25 MAF water to be released within five years, but till today the said water was not released leaving Indus delta to ruin completely.

Continue reading ‘Downstream Kotri’

Climate Change: Question of Protecting Mangroves Forests in Pakistan

By Jamil Junejo

Sea level rise is one of horrifying offshoots of the climate change. It has risen reportedly by 1.7 mm/year in the 20th Century, globally. Since 1993, the rate has accelerated to 3.1mm/year. Such sea level rise has been posing serious threats to human settlements especially in coastal areas. Cyclones and Tsunamis coupled with the sea level rise will prove more disastrous due to increased height and intensity of the tides. Mangroves forests are the natural shield to avert a heavy loss by the possible heightened waves, cyclone and Tsunami.

Continue reading Climate Change: Question of Protecting Mangroves Forests in Pakistan

In India, the courts are acting on the problem of the pollution in Sindhu river, it would be better if the clowns in the Pakistani courts would do something real to save the river Sindh from pollution instead of playing petty power grab games.

PIL to save River Sindh: HC appoints commissioner

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court here on Wednesday appointed a commissioner to ascertain allegations levelled in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that illegal constructions have come up along the banks of River Sindh.

An official said that Justice Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain and Justice Hasnain Massodi appointed Registrar Judicial, Kaneez Fatima, as commissioner and directed her to inspect along with Tehsildar Kangan the site and submit report within two weeks.

The PIL was submitted by advocate Qazi Rashid Shamas. The petitioner alleges that structures were being built on the river bed at three places— Mamar, Murgund and Knagan in violation of various statutes.

“In the process water is getting polluted and if immediate steps for retrieving river from encroachments and removing illegal constructions are not undertaken, the river environment and the surrounding ecology faces threats and hazards,” reads the PIL.

Continue reading In India, the courts are acting on the problem of the pollution in Sindhu river, it would be better if the clowns in the Pakistani courts would do something real to save the river Sindh from pollution instead of playing petty power grab games.

Ayaz Latif Palijo blames PPP government handing over the control of waters of Indus to Punjab to prolong its rule

Sindh-Punjab water dispute: AT calls for appointment of international commission

DAWN

HYDERABAD, May 24: Awami Tehrik leaders have called for appointment of an international commission to solve decades-old dispute over water share in Indus and other rivers between Sindh and Punjab.

Addressing a demonstration and sit-in outside the press club here on Monday in protest against acute shortage of water in the province, AT president Ayaz Latif Palijo, Hakeem Zangejo, Ms Rozina Bhutto and Nazeer Memon called for releasing 35 MAF water downstream Kotri barrage and compensation to Sindh for “theft of its share in water”.

Continue reading Ayaz Latif Palijo blames PPP government handing over the control of waters of Indus to Punjab to prolong its rule

Punjab’s guarantees on Kalabagh are only “show-piece”?

Need for consensus on dams

BY: MOHAMMAD KHAN SIAL, Karachi, Sindh

DAWN

This is apropos of Khursheed Anwer’s letter “Consensus on dam” (June 18) which states: “Sindh has been guaranteed 2.2maf additional water from the Kalabagh dam, what more consensus do the politicians want?”

It appears that the writer has not been to the depth of the problem. In the “Water Appropriation Accord 1991”, at least a release of 10maf water for downstream Kotri was also guaranteed but was never implemented even after the passing of 20 years. So what is the use of guarantees when they were never implemented in letter and spirit but only worked as “show-pieces”?

The controversial Chashma-Jhelum Link Canal in Punjab was the original Flood Canal, but many times Punjab has released water unilaterally despite a severe deficit of water in Sindh. During the deficit, Punjab has taken its full share of water multiple times by force. This can be seen in the AGN Abbasi Report.

Had the water been released downstream Kotri, sea intrusion would not have inundated 2.4 million acres of valuable land in Sindh. According to the Sindh government, almost 80m acres of land are inundated by sea intrusion. The government of Sindh firmly believes that if the situation remains the same, the historical city of Thatta and also Badin would disappear within 20 years. This is all because the “Water Accord – 1991” which was accepted by Sindh with reservations was not implemented in letter and spirit.

Recently, the NFC Award, announced with consensus, showed that even guarantees given in the Constitution were not sufficient. The same happened when the Thar coal, which was a provincial subject, was taken up by the Centre against the constitution and a notification was also issued but after much hue and cry from Sindh, it was rolled back.

I suggest that those who are sincere supporters of the dam should first demand the following:

1. At least 10maf should be released downstream Kotri as envisaged in “The Water Accord – 1991”.

2. Sindh must be given its due share of water at Guddu.

3. The Flood Canal, i.e. the Chashma–Jhelum Link Canal, must be closed permanently except for the availability of excess water during floods.

4. The controversial Wapda must be dismembered as it had twisted facts and figures to support Punjab. Three out of four provinces are not happy with its performance and the prime minister called it a “white elephant” like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had once did.

5. All efforts must be made to save the Indus Delta as its ruination is bound to have environmental repercussions on Sindh. Only implementation of the Water Accord–1991 will guarantee this.

6. Punjab must admit the theft it committed on Sindh water and must pay compensation for it.

Sunday, 20 Jun, 2010

Courtesy:- http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/letters-to-the-editor/need-for-consensus-on-dams-060

Dams upriver hurting people living downstream

VOICES FROM MEKONG

By – ACHARA ASHAYAGACHAT

When 42-year-old Zhang Chun Shan, a Chinese farmer-cum-activist , told a public forum in Bangkok this week that he was unaware of the negative impact his great nation’s hydropower projects have caused to neighbouring countries downstream, a hundred participants understood him.

“I feel sorry for you; the downstream communities have problems with their fisheries and floods [after the dam construction] but we upstream people face the problems of soil erosion and villagers’ relocation,” said Mr Zhang, director of Lijiang City Environmental Volunteer Organisation.
The forum, entitled “Mekong Mainstream Dams: Voices Across Borders” was held last week at Chulalongkorn University.
How could the Chinese people know of the suffering of people in other countries? They do not even know about the hardships of their compatriots. “Because the local and central governments never tell anyone how we – communities affected by dams – are suffering,” mourned Mr Zhang, who comes from Yunnan province.
Niwat Roykeow, a former headmaster of Chiang Khong School in Chiang Rai province, accused the Chinese dams – Manwan, Dachaoshan and Jinghong – of causing the heaviest floods in Chiang Saen in four decades last August.
“At least three districts have yet to recoup the financial loss of 85 million baht, not to mention the heartbreak of being fooled by authorities that dams help prevent flooding, serve agriculture and produce electricity, ” said the 47-year-old Niwat.
He called on China to take responsibility for the suffering of the downstream people and urged the lower-Mekong governments to be more collaborative with their own people in seeking compensation from the upstream nation.
China expert Vorasakdi Mahatdhanobol from Chulalongkorn University said that if China wants to rise gracefully and in a sustainable manner, Beijing needs to conduct an impartial study of its dams’ impact on the riparian countries and release it publicly.
But the Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) chief executive officer Jeremy Bird argued that the MRC’s own study showed that the Chinese dams did not contribute to the flood; it was a natural event.
Montha Achariyakul, a community organiser in Bo Keo, Pongsali and Luang Prabang in Laos, said the Lao people did not believe rainfall was the cause.
“Headmen in northern Lao provinces warned their villagers that China would release more water from their dams. Despite the alert, a thousand households and their rice and corn fields were damaged,” said Ms Montha.
Montree Chantawong, from Thai People’s Network for Mekong, added that the MRC River Monitoring website still showed a “green sign” for Chiang Saen and Chiang Khong during the week of August 11-14 even though the area was inundated at that time.
The two-day seminar was not meant to talk about the already-built dams or to point the finger at any particular agency, but to raise awareness and plead for policy-makers at all levels, national and regional, and among international organisations as well as the private sector, to pay more attention to the voices of the people living along the river.
Participants were trying to forge a more concrete solidarity in order to hold future projects accountable to the people. Those projects are now at their doorstep.
Over the next few years, Laos is said to be constructing at least seven dams with a total electricity generating capacity of 7,470 megawatts, while another two Thai-Lao projects will see a total of 3,409mw dams. Cambodia will have a 980mw dam in Stung Treng and another 2,600mw dam in Sambor.
Investors from China, Thailand, Malaysia, Russia and Vietnam are reportedly involved in the projects at Pak Beng, Luang Prabang, Xayaburi, Xanakham, Lat Sua, Don Sahong in Laos, and at Pak Chom and Ban Koum along the Thai-Lao border, and two provinces in Cambodia.
The seminar also saw a strong argument regarding the impact on fish stocks in the world’s seventh largest river, if more dams were to be built mid- and downstream of the Mekong.
“The issue is not about what will happen to the fish, but to the people whose livelihood relies heavily on fishery along this river,” said Chris Barlow, from the MRC Fisheries Programme.
The Mekong has the world’s largest inland fishery with 1.5-3 million tonnes a year. In 2000 it was 2.6 million tonnes, said Mr Barlow, adding that the real fishery economy was estimated at US$2-3,000 million per annum.
The MRC fish expert noted that reservoir fisheries could not compensate for lost river fisheries and aquaculture could not be a full replacement for captured fishery due to the added costs and different beneficiaries.
Professor Philip Hirsch from the Australian Mekong Resource Centre said that unless the 1995 agreement that created the MRC was revised to include civil society voices and concerns into the government-dominate d process, future relations between the MRC and civil society would remain an unfruitful dispute.
Apart from the agreement amendment, the colossal task is to accommodate China’s entry into the sub-regional body, noted Mr Hirsch.
So the MRC, NGOs and other players needed to find ways to overcome the lack of meaningful engagement that has marked the past 13 years, he said.
Jonathan Conford of Oxfam Australia, took the Asian Development Bank to task for failing to live up to its pledges of poverty alleviation, environmental conservation and sustainability.
At the ADB’s annual meeting early this year, president Haruhido Kuroda listed as priorities in the ADB’s new long-term strategic commitment, more of the same agenda – infrastructure development, regional integration, private facilitation – all under the banner of inclusive growth, said Mr Conford.
But the weight of accumulating evidence in the Mekong Region, he said, is pointing to the need for a fundamental rethink of the GMS orthodoxies around infrastructure, growth and poverty alleviation.
“Sixteen years of accelerated infrastructure development and natural resource extraction have led to irrevocable damage to the region’s ecological systems and hugely growing disparities between the rich and the poor and between ethnic groups,” the Australian activist said.
Dr Sombath Somporn, the 2005 Ramon Magsaysay award recipient for community leadership, said Laos may consider itself as a battery of the region by supplying electricity to Southeast Asia, but for how long can it sustain this?
“We need to re-educate the young people that water and light are interlinked; if we use water unwisely or energy unwisely we will have none left. We should not consume till everything depletes.”
Dr Sombath also called for more corporate responsibility in implementing hydropower projects.
“Shareholders and board members of concerned agencies including the Mekong River Commission, and the Asian Development Bank should be held accountable to their noble pledges to fight against climate change. Stopping building or supporting construction of the non-EIA-checked dams is one way to help prevent global warming,” he said.
He suggested that maybe it was time for ecological degradation to be accounted into the monetary cost of carrying out a project.
Courtesy and Thanks: Bangkokpost.com
http://www.bangkokpost.com/141108_News/14Nov2008_news21.php