A damning dam report
CAMPAIGNERS have long fought against British government support for the Ilisu dam project in Turkey. Virtually every one of the criticisms they have made of the project was backed by an official inquiry by British MPs. Parliament's international development committee said the Ilisu dam project did not deserve backing because it was "conceived and planned in contravention of international standards".
The committee chair said that he was "astonished the Foreign Office did not raise any questions about the dam and its effect on the human rights of those living in the region". British civil engineering firm Balfour Beatty has a 200 million contract for the dam.
The dam scheme will forcibly evict 25,000 people, mainly Kurds, from their villages. Many perceive the dam to be part of a wider plan by the Turkish state to "ethnically cleanse" the area of Kurds. The reservoir created by the dam will bring diseases like malaria to the region. The dam could also deprive downstream countries of water. Despite the MPs' devastating verdict the New Labour government still says it is "minded" to underwrite the project.
- More information from The Ilisu Dam Campaign, Box 210, 266 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 7DL. Website: www.ilisu.org.uk