IMPHAL, March 14: The International rivers day observation was held today at Yangwui kong, Thoubal river at Riha, jointly organized by Mapithel Dam Affected Villager Organization (MDAVO), Citizen Concern for Dam and Development (CCDD), Centre for Research and Advocacy of Manipur (CRAM) and Committee on Protection of Natural Resource of Manipur (CPNRM).
Speaking during the observation, Ningthoukhongjam Rajesh general secretary of Life Watches, highlighting the beginning of the International rivers day observation that began since 1997 in Brazil, asserted that in the last 20 years that more than 40 major dam were build and more than 40 million people were displaced.
Voicing his strong opposition against such projects, he explained that the people not only have the right to know about the plan and program but also have the right to comment and raise their voices.
Maintaining that the people have every right to protect their natural resources, Aram Pamei, Co-chairperson of CCDD suggested that every Government should give prior concern on the safety and rights of indigenous people while implementing a project.
She further contended that the people must not hesitate to raise their objection if their rights are infringed.
Secretary of CCDD Joseph Hmar, CRAM Sanaton Laishram, and Puspa Koijam CRAM and other activists also attended the observation.
At the concluding part of the observation a rally was also organized with participation of 100 of people.
Our Bishnupur correspondent add: The International Day of Action for Rivers and Against Dam was on Friday observed with the theme “Rivers Unite Us” at Khordak Community Hall, Khordak Nimai PAjeng in Thanga Assembly constituency.
The day was observed with slogan of “Save the Khordak River and its Sister Rivers; Decommission Khordak Dam and Ithai” and it was jointly organised by CORE, ALLAFUM, IP, KWYO, KIC, SAYO and YASOK in association with ACTIP, AMUCO, COHR, FRIENDS, HRI, NEPA, IPSA, NEDF, NIPCO, PRDA, PALNRO, REACHOUT and UCM.
N Irabot, H Ibotombi Khuman and S Ibopishak attended the function as chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively.
Our CCPUR correspondent adds: International day of action for river was observe with the theme “save the Khuga River – Save Churachandpur’’ organized by Centre for Organization Research and Education (CORE),North East People’s Alliance (NEPA) in Collaboration with North East India Outlook (NEIO).
The chief guest of the occasion Mr Nengkhanlun general secretary MHJU said that the day is imitated from Brazil where 20 countries gathering there to ponder upon the degrading condition of the river around the world.
The chief guest also said that “the River is like human blood that sustains the human life” and continued that “we are making a big mistake having constructed Khuga dam as it is the main source of the water and eco imbalances, which was originally known as Tuitha River by the people in Lanka area”. He urged the organizers to organize such program so as to bring awareness to the people of the area in general.
During the occasion, the resource person Ram Wangkheirakpam said that “we must take cognizant of the drying up of Nambol and Thoubal River which had dried out due to the excessive exploitation of the river and also due to the mismanagement by the public who made it their garbage bin.” The most important factor, he said, for this kind of degradation was mainly due to three factors namely dams, waste product of the people and encroachment.
Later on, the volunteers of NEPA and NEIO cleaned and sanitized the area of the Tuitha River at Saidan village area.