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Four million people have to be resettled within the next 10 to 15 years in the Three-Gorges Dam area.



2007, October 17


The Xinhua press agency has reported that some 4 million people have to be resettled during the next 10 to 15 years from the Three Gorges Dam area. That is more than five times the number previously planned. The resettlements are necessary due to the deteriorating environmental conditions. There is an increasing number of landslides on the steep shores of the reservoir, causing flood waves of up to 50 meters in hight. Water pollution is also increasing in the reservoir due to the reduced water flow and a lack of sufficient wastewater treatment in surrounding areas.
Analysis: The increasing number of people to be resettled is a major challenge for the Chinese government. Previous resettlement programs had been seriously hurt by widespread corruption among local cadres who siphoned away significant amounts of the resettlement compensation. The central government has to implement much more rigorous local controls to prevent these resettlement schemes from becoming a major social, economic, and political disaster.



Topping, Andrey R. (1995): Ecological roulette: Damming the Yangtze. In: Foreign Affairs, Vol. 74, No. 5, 132-146

Chetham, Deidre (2004): Before the Deluge: The Vanishing World of the Yangtze's Three Gorges. (Palgrave Macmillan)

Zhang, Chang'er (1999): On floods in the Yangtze River valley and the disaster-avoiding economy. In: International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology, Vol. 6, 196-202


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