New Hydro Dams in Sarawak
Many were shocked today when they read the local newspaper that Sarawak is going to build 12 hydroelectric dams in the state. According to the report that Sarawak need the dams to meet the state industrialization need. I was indeed very surprised by the articles as now Sarawak has already 1 dam in operation at Batang Ai and another one which is currently under construction.
What really surprises me are the locations of the dams. They are scattered all over the states and it doesn’t need a genius to imagine that about 1/4 of the state will be flooded with water. It will have too much impact on environment. People’s life will be affected, their land, their tradition, their way of life will be very much affected.
One question that popped up to my mind is that, do we really need that much of power. Can we figure other ways to produce energy without affecting the environment. Do we need to sacrifice our land, environment for the sake of industries. There are many industrialized nations in the world that do not need that many dams in order for the country to grow into an industrialized nation. We should learn from countries that have failed in their environmental preservation when they are too busy developing industries in their country.
Sarawak in a proud state to have many natural national parks which are known throughout the world. It will be a shame to lose these natural treasures to some other kind of industries that proven to cause more damages to the environment like air pollution and other kind of industrial waste. With so much issue on global warming at alarming rate, we do not need some more destructions to our limited environment.
As a person hailed from Sarawak and spent much of my childhood in the state, I remember of many beautiful things in the state. The weather was much cooler, the river water was crystal clear and we used to see blue skies any time of the day. Since the logging industries came in the 80s, there was not much of clear water to be seen and many of the forest disappeared one by one. We were lucky that some national parks was left untouched and we still can see some of the original and see for ourselves what rainforest looks like. Like myself many have been to these national parks and I’m sure that have very good memories during their visit to the parks. I went to Mulu National Park 8 years ago and I still remember those journeys through the forest and will never hesitate to visit there again in future. I’m sure many visitors, local and overseas are having the same thought.
We have seen what happened in other countries like China where the industry development and environmental preservation is not balanced. Every year during rainy season there will be floods in many cities taking many lives. Even in some cities there are people who never saw the sun because the place they live are cover with haze throughout their lives. We do not want this things to happen to Sarawak and our future generation.
Not long ago my friend who stay overseas said to me that she felt very strange when in rain here in Malaysia. It rain so heavily and all of a sudden there will be flash flood. The rain is so much different compare to the rain 10-20 years ago. When I recall back I totally agreed and sometimes it rain so heavily and the heat from the sun seem to be getting hotter and hotter each day. Maybe now I can say to my younger friend ‘I want to know have you ever seen the rain’ a bit relevant I think.
I think Sarawak will be just doing fine by now developing into a huge industrialized state that need such high quantity of electric power. It is still not too late now to study other kind of ways to generate power or other kind of industries that are not power hungry. We still need to see the state as what the state we are proud of.