Roghun looks a lot like Three Gorges
So, officials in Tajikistan are saying that the Roghun dam will force thousands of people to abandon their homes. That’s 6,500 people from Roghun district, a little over 100 km from Dushanbe. Understably, there’s a lot of outcry about this, but moving people to safer locations actually doesn’t hurt society’s wellbeing in my opinion.
What does hurt it is compelling these poor people to begin with, from students to retired pensioners, to give money for a totally nontransparent business and construction plan. It hurts our government’s credibility. It also hurts us economically, as my fellow blogger for Tajikistan, Dushanbe, points out.
Despite kicking them off their land, I doubt this government will lift a finger to provide the dislocated people the compensation equal to their property’s worth. You can say all you want how Tajikistan needs this project and that we all have to make sacrifices, but those sacrifices should be honestly and sincerely voluntary.
Increasingly, the Roghun project seems to be following a Chinese model: make decisions for the people, then say it was in their own best interest and that they wanted it anyway.