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The Three Gorges Dam
The Three Gorges Dam is partway through completion in China. It is a Hydroelectric Power Supply,
which will produce energy for a large amount of people living in China. Although the resource seems
very useful, there are many arguments against the Dam.
The Dam is only ten percent efficient, and there are many negative consequences of the construction
work. Thousands of people living in the area of fertile farmland which will be flooded by the water
behind the dam have been displaced and moved to large cities, including areas of Shanghai, where
there is not enough water for the increased number of inhabitants. Animals have also lost their
habitats and many plants also. The biodiversity of the area has been greatly reduced as the forest
area where the wildlife lived has also been flooded. On top of all of this, one thousand three hundred
archaeological sites have been flooded which house historical artefacts from Chinese dynasties.
There are burial sites on the sides of the river valley which have been flooded and will be lost
forever as they have not yet been excavated. Many people also say that if you do not know your
history, how can you know yourself? The government has said that the historical buildings can be
moved and preserved to areas where the land is not going to be flooded.
The Dam has bought many tourists to the area, but sceptics wonder how long this will last. This has
provided some employment for the local people, but many people who have been forced to move
were not as lucky. A small proportion of the farmers were moved to other farmland, where the soil
was of a lower quality. This has lead to less food being produced, and the farmers becoming
increasingly poor. This area of China produced a vast majority of their food supply, but now this has
had to be imported from abroad, costing China's people lots of money every year.
The people who have been forced to move to towns have been given no compensation or raining for
new jobs so they are unemployed. This is putting a strain on China's economy as they are claiming
money from the government and the community feel is also declining. The housing supplied has been
constructed very quickly and is often not of a good quality. There is an increase in the levels of
unemployment, which is believed to have led to the increased crime levels. The police force and
other services are being stretched to breaking point and cracks are visible in the system.
Many opponents claim that the dam is doing more harm than good, and is making pollution in the
Yangtze River worse. Some even say that the dam is prone to cracking and not enough tests were
performed to check the strength of the dam. If the dam does not work, a large sum of money will
have been wasted. The Chinese government has rejected all claims that the dam is unreliable.
On the contrary, the Chinese government has said that as China is quickly running out of resources it
was essential to construct the dam. The national economy will increase, and as the dam was vastly
under-budget money can be spent on helping the new communities to develop. China's power will
develop and the dam is seen as a sign of power. The dam will reduce global-warming, pollution,
smog and general emissions, therefore helping the environment. The dam is a long-term plan for
China. Children living in cities will have a better life, as there will be less pollution and a higher quality
of life for them.
RACHEL GREGORY, 11M