Monday, November 8, 2010


We don’t know the actual money involved, but, it is estimated that we spent 15 billion ringgit to build the Bakun Dam. The government is pleased with the construction and completion of this Bakun Dam, but, we must take a second look before we should build another dam. We must understand that hydroelectric plants are not renewable plant because only constant maintenance will keep the dams going. Maintenance of the dams would be very costly if we want to dams to go perpetually and once not properly maintained the hydroelectricity produced by the dams will stop. We need to understand nothing in this world can last forever, unless God allows it. The possibility that the dams will collapse could not be discounted. We could not discount technical faults in such massive structures, such as breakdown of powerhouse equipments, erosion of spillways, failure of valves, sluice gates get jammed and so forth. These dams being large structures are easily targets for terrorists and we could not discount some mad people out there would re-enact a 911 strike with a hijacked airplane!
For those living near Bakun and Balleh river it is better that you all think of having a safer home. Let it be made known that Sabah and Sarawak did in recent years register earthquakes or tremors many times and such earth tremors can cause cracks or collapse of dams.

We have come across where dams in the world collapsed or cracked. Koyna Dam in Maharasthra, Western India has contributed to earthquakes in recent years including the devastating 1967 Koynanagar earthquake that caused roughly 200 deaths, 2200 injuries and destroyed enough homes to render more than 5000 people homeless. In China Shimantan and Banqiao Dams collapsed in August 1975 where millions were left homeless and deaths count of not less than 20,000. The extent of the damage had remained a state secret. In May 2008, a dam in the Sichuan Province in China was said cracked caused by earthquake.

Now, the state and federal governments are happy that Bakun Dam has been successfully built, but, we may one day see a catastrophe, which I hope will not.

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