RID backs off on Mae Wong Dam project

The Royal Irrigation Department (RID) has withdrawn it’s environment and health impact assessment (EHIA) report on the Mae Wong Dam project after it is considered incomplete.

The RID withdrew it’s report from the Office of Natural Resource and Environmental Policy and Planning’s (Onep) on October 3, according to the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation.

On its Facebook page, it said the RID has withdrawn it’s environment and health impact assessment study after it took into account other options to resolve flooding and water shortage problems proposed by the foundation in addition to the dam project.

It said such option as the problems in Sakae Krang river basin in Lard Yao district of Nakhon Sawan, therefore prompted the RID to withdraw it’s EHIA report for review as it could affect the entire water management and ecosystem which it has earlier studied.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Thailand has voiced opposition to the Mae Wong dam project, reasoning that Mae Wong National Park is a beacon of hope for tiger recovery efforts across Southeast Asia.

As Thailand hosts the largest tiger population in the Greater Mekong Region and a dam in the middle of this tiger habitat will do untold damage to their populations.

In addition, it will seriously degrade the entire Mae Wong ecosystem, opening up the forest and its inhabitants to poachers and illegal loggers, and destroying the water and forest resources of local communities.

The dam is not an effective answer to the problem of poor water resources in the area. The construction of Mae Wong Dam will destroy many areas along the banks of the sensitive Mae Wong River, including areas that provide habitat and important food sources for much of the local wildlife.

At most, the Mae Wong Dam will be the destruction of the hope, determination and dedication of all those who have worked so hard to protect the area, preserve its natural resources and look after its wildlife, especially Tigers, WWF-Thailand said.