Addressing the Livelihood of Non-Resettlers in Dam-Induced “Detached” Areas: The Case of the Shichikashuku Dam

Mikiyasu Nakayama, Ryo Fujikura


Most dam construction projects inevitably lead to the creation of involuntary resettlers due to inundation of their lands and houses by reservoirs. How resettlers should be dealt with or “compensated” has long been discussed. The report published by the World Dam Commission was one of the major milestones on this issue. However, attention should also be given to the fact that non-resettlers who are obliged to stay in the project area after completion of a dam also suffer from dam construction. Even though their assets are not submerged, if their land is “detached” from the downstream area by a reservoir, they tend to become worse off socially and even financially. Improvement of infrastructure, in particular having roads to the downstream area, is essential to minimize the impacts on those who are “detached.” Compensating for the lost assets of the resettlers alone may not be sufficient to prevent the people in the project area of a dam construction from becoming worse off.

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