Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The Scary Power Of Hydroelectric Power

Since February 2014, I have been alerting the people and the governments of Bhutan that our hydroelectric projects have the potential to enslave us economically. I just learnt that we are not the only one -  the South American country of Ecuador has been keeping us company – around the same time we began our journey of doom. Read the following:

Even as our government has finally decided to go slow and smart on new hydropower projects, and even as the hydropower committee has declared in no uncertain terms that hydropower projects DO NOT bring any benefits to the local community, some section of Khengpas are wailing for Chamkharchhu Hydroelectric Power Project.

What is with the Bhutanese people? Look at the Bongo Gewog --- the villages in this Gewog sit bang in the middle of two of Bhutan's earliest hydropower projects. But the communities here are so poor that the Rotary Club of Thimphu has to intervene to help them build toilets - 95 of them. The road to the villages is so bad that one trip to the area and our donors are scared witless - so much so that they refuse to travel to any other parts of the country.

Why are the politicians and the governments promoting the idea that hydropower projects will bring benefits to the communities? They damn well know that the hydropower projects have no mandate to build schools, roads and hospitals. Why are people being blatantly misguided and misinformed? Is it self-interest? Or plain stupidity?

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