Sociology and Anthropology Vol. 6(2), pp. 237 - 251
DOI: 10.13189/sa.2018.060205
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Possible Socioeconomic Consequences of the Hydropower Dams on the Downstream Communities: Case Study Hatgyi Dam

Kyaw Thu Han *
Yangon, Myanmar


This research paper examines the possible effects of hydropower dams on downstream communities through a case study of the proposed Hat Gyi dam on Salween River in Kayin State, Southern Part of Myanmar. The purpose of this paper is to find out how local people's livelihoods and ownership of land have been affected by the proposed dam and in what way men and women voice their concerns at the time of the project were being planned and finally to find out the engagement of government authorities or civil societies to the downstream communities of Hat Gyi Dam. I do qualitative method to know the situation properly. The local people believe that the consequences of building the Hat Gyi dam will have effect on their livelihoods and income of the local communities seriously. The dam will have effect on the agriculture production in the region and consequently the regular income of the local people. The local people do not have any chance to raise their concerns, especially women. This paper concludes that although both men and women have lost their livelihood and farmland, women have suffered more due to struggles for daily life. Voice of women cannot be raised during or after the dam has been built due to existing gender discrimination in the society. By analyzing the data I collected from in depth interviews, I conclude that the consequences of hydropower dams would be very bad on local people, especially on women. This socioeconomic impact analysis of a large infrastructure development project provides insight into the unequal relationship among government, construction companies and the local people, the local economy; it determines the portion of the population that benefits and the portion of the population that suffers the cost. By using that insight, I hope policy makers can help to reduce the cost of suffering while without damaging the benefits.

Socioeconomic Consequences, Hydropower Dams, Downstream, Myanmar

Cite this paper
Kyaw Thu Han . "Possible Socioeconomic Consequences of the Hydropower Dams on the Downstream Communities: Case Study Hatgyi Dam." Sociology and Anthropology 6.2 (2018) 237 - 251. doi: 10.13189/sa.2018.060205.