Manipur: International Rivers Day held

International Rivers Day held

International Rivers Day at Nungbrung village, under the theme “Let the Rivers Flow Free in Manipur International Rivers Day at Nungbrung village, under the theme “Let the Rivers Flow Free in Manipur

IMPHAL | Mar 14

International Rivers Day was held today at Nungbrung village, Imphal East district under the theme “Let the Rivers Flow Free in Manipur”.

A press release by president of the Centre for Research and Advocacy Manipur (CRAM), Sanaton Laishram said that the function was organised by the Mapithel Dam Downstream Affected Village Level Committee, the Mapithel Dam Downstream Affected Peoples, CRAM and the Irabot Foundation, Manipur.

Secretary of CRAM, Jiten Yumnam during the function has shared that rivers of Manipur are targeted to unsustainable development processes such as the construction of hydropower projects that curtailed the free flow of rivers and undermining the survival relationship of indigenous communities.

He stated that mega hydropower projects like 1500 MW Tipaimukh Dam are planned across the rivers of Manipur even as commissioned dams like Khuga Dam, the Khoupum Dam which have failed to fulfil their objectives.

President of Mapithel Dam Downstream Affected Village Level Committee, Khundongbam Bimola, shared that the construction of Mapithel dam destroyed the fragile ecology of Thoubal River and impoverished the affected communities in downstream villages such as Laikhong, Tumukhong, Nungbrung among others, as villagers could no longer collect sand and stone due to the impoundment in the dam reservoir.

A villager from Nungbrung village, Ibetombi Nameirakpam also said that the blockade of the free flow of the Thoubal River since January 2015 by Mapithel dam caused much hardship to the people living along the Thoubal River. The government’s order against the extraction of sand by using machines has further affected the livelihood means and sustainability of the villagers. Therefore, the dam does not have any significance to the locals and hence, the government should restore the river back to its original state.

Later the villagers, women leaders of Nungbrung, Laikhong and Tumukhong held a symbolic protest along Thoubal river in Nungbrung village urging the state government to ensure free flow of the river. It also urged to stop the commissioning of Thoubal river, to ensure the livelihood of all communities in both upstream and downstream affected by the Mapithel dam.

International Rivers Day at Nungbrung Village

14th March 2019

 International Rivers Day at Nungbrung Village on 14th March 2019
International Rivers Day at Nungbrung Village on 14th March 2019

The Mapithel Dam Downstream Affected Village Level Committee, the Mapithel Dam Downstream Affected Peoples, the Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur and the Irabot Foundation, Manipur Jointly celebrated the international Rivers Day at Nungbrung Village, Imphal East District on 14th March with the theme “Let the Rivers Flow Free in Manipur”.

Mr. Jiten Yumnam, Secretary, Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur shared that Rivers of Manipur are targeted to unsustainable development processes such as the construction of hydropower projects that curtailed the free flow of rivers and undermining the survival relationship of indigenous communities with the rivers & land, as in the case of those villagers affected by the Mapithel Dam and 105 MW Loktak Hydroelectric Project in downstream and upstream areas. Mr. Yumnam further stated it is unfortunate that mega hydropower projects like 1500 MW Tipaimukh Dam are planned across the Rivers of Manipur even as commissioned dams like the Khuga dam, the Khoupum dam etc have failed to fulfill their objectives.

Ms. Khundongbam Bimola, President of the Mapithel Dam Downstream Affected Village Level Committee shared that the construction of Mapithel dam destroyed the fragile ecology of Thoubal River and impoverished the affected communities in downstream villages such as Laikhong, Tumukhong, Nungbrung etc, as villagers could no longer collect sand and stone due to the impoundment in the dam reservoir. Villagers could no longer send their children to school due to impoverishment due to the dam.

 International Rivers Day at Nungbrung Village on 14th March 2019
International Rivers Day at Nungbrung Village on 14th March 2019

Ms. Ibetombi Nameirakpam of Nungbrung Village shared that the blockade of the free flow of the Thoubal River since January 2015 by Mapithel Dam caused much hardship to the people living along the Thoubal River. The Government’s order against the extraction of sand by using machines has further affected the livelihood means and sustainability of the villagers. Therefore, the dam does not have any significance to the locals and hence, the Government should restore the river back to its original state.

Mr. Yumlembam Thoiba of the Mapithel Dam downstream Affected Peoples shared that the Mapithel dam is the root cause of all the hardship and livelihood challenges in villages along the Thoubal River. The Mapithel dam reservoir caused the Thoubal River to cease its flow.

The Mapithel dam caused misunderstanding among communities seeking livelihood and dependence for water on Thoubal River. Ms. Nomita Takhenchangbam of the Youth Forum on Human Rights shared the Mapithel dam and other unsustainable projects in Manipur are a threat to the survival of indigenous peoples of Manipur.

Later, the villagers of Women leaders and selected villagers of Nungbrung, Laikhong and Tumukhong villagers organized a symbolic protest along the Thoubal River in Nungbrung Village urging the Government of Manipur to ensure the free flow of Thoubal River and also to stop the commissioning of Thoubal River, to ensure the livelihood of all communities in both upstream and downstream affected by the Mapithel dam. The participants also called to stop building dams in all the Rivers of Manipur.

 International Rivers Day at Nungbrung Village on 14th March 2019
International Rivers Day at Nungbrung Village on 14th March 2019 

Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur
Paona Bazar, Imphal Manipur 795001

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