September 29, 2009: It now seems that the British construction company that helped build two dams in Burma have now been condemned by human rights campaigners. This news comes following reports that this dam project actually led to the forced relocation of villagers.
A Devon-based family run firm, Malcolm Dunstan and Associates, has been involved in the construction of the Yeywa dam located in central Burma, as well as the Ta Sang project on the Salween river in the north east end of the country. These projects, which have been made to help generate electricity for China and Thailand, have now been targeted by human rights activists. These campaigners have reported that thousands of villagers have actually been removed from their homes due to flooded plains.
Of course, the firm has defended its work by arguing that they had consulted with Burmese people who agreed that the dam should be built. However, the campaigners say that they have been pleading with British firms to stay away from the country for quite some time.
This little dispute comes at a bad time for companies that are doing all that they can to generate more green energy. Many governments are now laying down laws or have proposed laws in affect that will limit how much pollution can be put out by one company. Thus, generating power from things like dams seems to be one of the few routes that companies can go down.
Other reports have said that their have been a lot of bad things reported with the building of the dam. Reports of forced labor and rape have gone way up since the construction team has been in the area. This has lead many locals to believe that the construction company is the cause of it.