Rural Cambodian villagers defiant in face of looming hydropower flood

From the government’s perspective: hydropower will aid the country economically and elevate the standard of living of the people. Rural people will also be compensated and relocated to new, better residences with access to school, electricity and a market.

From villager’s perspective: as my old village is flooded to make way for the HEP plant, my old way of life also disappears. Unlike the past where the river can provide for my every need (especially food) for free, I now need to work to have enough money to pay for the basic needs I use to get so easily from the river.

Who’s right?

According to the article, proper negotiation with all parties are very important. While there is likely no way to avoid the building of the dam/HEP plant, the locals affected could have been consulted more to understand their concerns especially with regard to relocation.

Such consultation with locals is equally important with NGOs and disaster relief work.



The rich-poor divide (drone pictures)

Unequal Scenes portrays scenes of inequality in South Africa from the air. 
Discrepancies in how people live are sometimes hard to see from the ground. The beauty of being able to fly is to see things from a new perspective – to see things as they really are. Looking straight down from a height of several hundred meters, incredible scenes of inequality emerge. Some communities have been expressly designed with separation in mind, and some have grown more or less organically.

During apartheid, segregation of urban spaces was instituted as policy. Roads, rivers, “buffer zones” of empty land, and other barriers were constructed and modified to keep people separate. 22 years after the end of apartheid, many of these barriers, and the inequalities they have engendered, still exist. Oftentimes, communities of extreme wealth and privilege will exist just meters from squalid conditions and shack dwellings.