Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Scandal:Auditor General report exposed Bengoh re-settlement site as `unsuitable'!

Kg Semadang re-settlement area has just been started-but its unsuitability could have been known 2 years back!
According to the Auditor General's report just released at Parliament the government's re-settlement for villagers displaced by the Bengoh dam has been found to be `unsuitable', as quoted by journalist Sulok Tawie. The disclosure is scadalous: the AG report is usually dated 2 years back; so why is the developer still proceeding with the building of the new re-settlement scheme at Kampong Semadang while the `unsuitability' of the site has already been known 2 years back? Are they forging ahead following the same pattern that they had been building the dam ie keep the villagers in the dark?

The film crew of the Bengoh film has found the re-settlement site to be unsuitable when she visited the area in August: the area can accommodate the housing but not the 3-acre agriculture land to be allocated to each displaced family, numbering over 200. The land is swampy and also there are already existing communities in Kg Semadang. Shades of the same Sg Asap re-settlement problems! When can the government learn-or bother to learn? Sg Asap re-settlement caters for the 10 000 natives displaced by the giantic Bakun dam. Problems from the dam still linger after 10 years that the natives have taken a gamble to move there!

Sad to say even the 1st big dam construction at Batang Ai still cause complaints by the re-settled residents. The government never seems to have got it right in its re-settlement policy -and recurrence of these problems can be expected for the 12 more huge dams planned for the state after bakun dam!

Kg Nyukol, the preferred re-settlement village for half of Kg Rejoi villagers.
Already close to half of the 3 villages affected by Bengoh dam had built new houses at where they prefer to move vie to higher ground to the dam -but still within their NCR lands! Similar choices have been made by some Bakun dam-displaced villagers.

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