Pressreleases / Communiqués / Pressemitteilungen 
(all in original language, en langue originale, in Originalsprache):


    News "newer" than 21.09.99

  • 21.09.99 : India : Narmada : Hundreds Arrested In Shoulder-Deep Water at Domkhedi. Others Still Standing in Rising Waters
  • 21.09.99 : Narmada action alert - protest the submergence
  • 18.09.99 :  India : Narmada: Update: Dramatic evolution
  • 14.09.99 : Nile: Nile Basin Initiative Launches Secretariat Group to develop and manage Nile waters sustainably
  • 14.09.99 : Danube : more pollution after the Kosovo War  (study WWF ) (ger.)
  • 13.09.99 : USA: Washington Post on Dam Deconstruction
  • 13.09.99 : Chile: Tension rises over halted Ralco project (Bio Bio) 
  • 13.09.99 : India: A New Phase of Narmada Andolan 
  • 08.09.99 : Rotting Reservoir Makes French Guiana Big Polluter
  • 16.08.99 : USA: Clinton addresses water pollution with new plan

Text : 

21.09.99 :  India : Narmada : Hundreds Arrested In Shoulder-Deep Water at Domkhedi. Others Still Standing in Rising Waters

Around 300 people were arrested in Domkhedi after police entered the
Maharashtra village around 4pm today. The police dragged Ms Medha Patkar,
Mr Sitarambhai Patidar and Mr Devram Kanera out of shoulder-deep water in
the satayagrah (struggle) house. The police broke down the wall of the
house as the water at the door of the house was too deep to enter. Medha
was kicked during her arrest, others were also kicked, slapped and beaten.

The three activists from the Samarpit Dal - the "Dedicated Squad" of the
Narmada Bachao Andolan - had spent around 27 hours standing in the steadily
rising water of the Sardar Sarovar Reservoir. The other villagers and
activists arrested had been gathered near the satayagrah house in support
of the Samarpit Dal. Those arrested are being held at higher elevatations
in Domkhedi.

People are still facing the rising waters at other villages alongside the
Narmada. Villagers in the lowest houses in the Maharashtra villages of
Sikka, Bharad and Pipalchop, downstream of Domkhedi, are reported to be in
water between knee and waist height. At Jalsindhi in Madhya Pradesh, around
70-80 people are standing together with Luharia Shankaria who lives in the
lowest house in the village. Latest reports state that the water in
Luharia's house is around 1.5 feet deep.

The waters have been flooding fields and houses in Maharashtra and Madhya
Pradesh since 17th evening. The four days of flooding have caused serious
damage to property and suffering to people. But at the same time, the
people of the Narmada Valley and the activists of the Andolan and NBA
leader Medha Patkar have stood firm in their resolve that they will drown
but not move.

On Saturday, 18 September, Medha and 135 others were arrested from
waist-deep waters in a house in Pipalchop. They were released on the
following day, after which they went to Domkhedi. Yesterday the waters rose
again and the Samarpit Dal stood in the waters once again.

 Nandini Oza, NBA, Baroda.
 10:30 pm, Tuesday, 21 September 1999
 Tel +91 265 382232

21.09.99 : Narmada action alert - protest the submergence


Dear Friends

The villagers of the Narmada Valley are currently facing disastrous floods
caused by the Sardar Sarovar Dam. Villagers and activists are risking their
lives to show their opposition to this illegal submergence. See the press
release below for the latest news from the Valley.

The NBA is urging supporters to write to the governments of the three
states involved to call for them to respond to the NBA's demands. The NBA
believes that "rescuing" the people from the rising waters by arresting
them is a cosmetic solution. Fundamental solutions are needed, including a
halt to construction while a comprehensive and participative review of the
project is carried out. Letters should make clear that it is the states
which are responsible for the destruction and loss in the valley. Letters
should be cc'd to the Indian President and, for overseas supporters, Indian
Ambassadors and Consuls General. A short sample letter is given below.


Dear Chief Minister

As you must be aware, dam-created flooding is currently causing widespread
destruction and suffering in the Narmada Valley. Villagers and NBA
activists are at serious risk of drowning because of their determination to
oppose the submergence, which is illegal under the terms of the Narmada
Water Disputes Tribunal.

The state governments which have allowed this submergence to happen are
responsible for the current crisis in the Narmada Valley. Arresting NBA
supporters and dragging them out of the rising waters is no solution. The
only way a resolution can be found is if construction on Sardar Sarovar Dam
is halted and a comprehensive and participatory review of the project
carried out, as is demanded by the NBA.

Yours sincerely,

Important Addresses :

Mr. Digvijay Singh
Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh
Shyamala Hills
Madhya Pradesh, India
Fax: +91 (755) 540 501
(often this fax does not work - telegraphs can be sent)
Mr Narayan Rane,
Chief Minster,
Fax : +91-22-363 1446 or 202 9214
Dr. K. R. Narayanan,
The Honorable President of India
Rashtrapati Bhavan
New Delhi
Fax +91 (011) 3014570, +91 (011) 3017290
Ambassador Naresh Chandra
Indian Embassy
Washington, DC
Fax 202 483 3972
R.M. Abhyankar
Indian Consulate
San Francisco
Fax 415 668 7968

18.09.99 :  India : Narmada: Update: Dramatic evolution

Dear Friends,
We have news from a supporter in Dhadgaon that Medha and 70 people have
been arrested at Pipalchop at 5.30 pm. There is no news of Domkhedi,
Sikka, etc or directly from inside
 We had a call from Joe that they have been released, and are being
taken back!
 The water level at the dam site has reached 97.44 mts 6 pm. We have no
information of the water level at Rajghat. The flood control room has
stopped giving us information and there are conflicting reports of the
level at Rajghat- some sources say it was 126.95, and some 125 mts. as
we are not able to get through still to the Badwani office, we are not
able to get direct information of the level at Rajghat.

Two press people reached Baroda this evening from Pipalchop and Medha
has sent a note with them as follows written by her at 9 am today
morning ( The press people reported that they left Pipalchop at 9.30 am,
with the note and at that time Medha and 60-70 people  had already
entered in the lowest hut at Pipalchop and the waters were knee deep. )

" The fight on the banks of river Narmada has resumed once again and  at
Pipalchop, people are watching the narmada rise.As the news of rise in
waters spread, people from other villages started arriving from right
upto Roshmal and Bhilgaon People from Nimad also arrived, the mood was
of Samarpan. Supporters from Kerala like expert on small hydro electric
scheme, Anilbhai, Manishbhai, from Anand, Gujarat and youth from Nimad,
brought strength in the struggle.
ALL villagers and supporters were singing and dancing as waters were
rising in Pipalchop, when the police came and surrounded them.The
samarpit dal did not get into the hands of the police. The police in
looking for the Samarpit dal, took many karyakarts and people into their
custody. Police slapped some, dragged others, and arrested them. 31
women and 35 men were arrested- they were taken to dhadgaon.
The waters continued to rise at Pipalchop the whole night. The second
team took position at Noorjia's house and started the satyagraha. The
whole night people sang songs and raised slogans and now waters have
risen to knee deep. the waters are very near some other houses and have
already submerged fields of many people. With anger against this
destruction people are fighting in the narmada since past 14 years and
today people are standing in Knee deep water in protest- No One shall
move dam will not be built. Waters will also enter Domkhedi, Bharad,
Sikka and Jalsindhi in a short while where people are on satyagraha as
well. It is the resolve of the people to stop the dam with commitment to
Samarpan. ( End)

We are still worried as there is no direct or indirect news from inside
about people at Domkhedi, Sikka, Bharad. The waters may not have yet
gone into Jalsindhi but may so at night- we have no idea as Rajghat
levels are not known. But waters have entered Domkhedi, Sikka and
Bharad. There are many Satyagrahis at each of these places particularly
at Domkhedi.
for more information :

14.09.99 : Nile: Nile Basin Initiative Launches Secretariat Group to develop and manage Nile waters sustainably

from/source:World Bank's web page (via IRN )

The Nile River, the world's longest waterway, spans a vast area of the
African continent and provides a lifeline and livelihood for millions of
people. To ensure that the waters of the Nile are developed and managed in a
sustainable way, the Nile Basin Initiative Secretariat officially opened its
doors in Entebbe, Uganda, last week.

The opening came at the conclusion of the fifth meeting of the Nile Technical
Advisory Committee-the technical arm of the recently launched Nile Basin
Initiative (NBI). The initiative is a new regional partnership, supported and
facilitated by the World Bank and others, within which countries of the Nile
basin have united in common pursuit of the river's sustainable development
and management.

The Nile River Basin straddles 10 countries and is home to 250 million of the
world's poorest people. Water shortages are already faced by many areas of
the region.

Building on earlier efforts, the NBI was launched in Dar es Salaam in
February 1999. The initiative's inception and growth over the last eight
months has been significant because for the first time in history, all Nile
basin countries have expressed a serious concern about the need for joint
discourse. They have agreed to pursue such discourse under the framework
of the NBI as a transitional arrangement until a permanent legal and
institutional framework is in place.

At the heart of the initiative is a shared vision of achieving "sustainable
socio-economic development through the equitable utilization of, and benefit
from, the common Nile Basin water resources." NBI member countries are
Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda,
Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The newly launched Nile Secretariat will be the nucleus for planning and
coordination of NBI activities. It serves both the Technical Advisory
Committee and the Nile Council of Ministers, the NBI's highest
decisionmaking body. The council is made up of water affairs ministers of
the Nile basin states. The Technical Advisory Committee supports the
Council of Ministers and is made up of senior officials from member

During its deliberations last week, working groups of the Technical Advisory
Committee examined various priority projects including efficient water use
for agricultural production, opportunities for power trade in the basin, and
water resources planning and management. Other project areas discussed
include environmental analysis and management, applied training, and public
information. The meetings were significant in that they now take the NBI
process from planning to more substantive work on the ground.

Guests at the launch ceremony included senior officials of government and
representatives of the Nile Basin states, members of the diplomatic corps in
Uganda, representatives of various international and bilateral donor agencies
and regional organizations. Ugandan Minister of Water, Lands and
Environment Henry Kajura emphasized the NBI's role in helping to reduce
poverty in the basin and commended the initiative for the remarkable
progress achieved thus far.

Kajura, himself a member of the NBI Council of Ministers, described the
Nile Basin Initiative as an opportunity for win-win development, and one
that could only have a positive impact on the entire Nile Basin community as
it underscored the advantages of sharing the benefits of water.

Other donors include the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Many other
development partners are now joining in their support of the Initiative,
including the Food & Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the governments
of Italy, Netherlands, Finland, the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway and
Sweden. The cooperative partners all expressed their continued commitment
and support for the Nile Basin Initiative.

14.09.99 : Donau: Umweltschaeden in Jugoslawien weiten sich aus (WWF Studie)
Folgen der Bombenangriffe im Kosovo-Krieg / Giftstoffe gefaehrden auch Nachbarstaaten

Berlin, Gland (Schweiz), 14. September 1999.
Ein Expertenteam der internationalen Naturschutzorganisation World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) bestaetigte Umweltschaeden in Jugoslawien als Folge des Kosovo-Krieges. Auf einer Pressekonferenz in Berlin rief der WWF dazu auf, diese Schaeden moeglichst schnell einzudaemmen und zu beseitigen, um eine weitere Ausbreitung der Schadstoffe zu verhindern. Die Experten fanden heraus, dass sich toxische Substanzen, die durch die Bombardierung von Industrieanlagen freigesetzt worden waren, immer noch ausbreiten und benachbarte Regionen bedrohen.

In einer gleichzeitig veroeffentlichten Kurzstudie stellte der WWF oekologische Auswirkungen der Bombardierung zweier jugoslawischer Industriekomplexe - der Chemiefabrik in Pancevo sowie der Oelraffinerie von Novi Sad - vor. Auch wurden Wasserproben der Donau untersucht. In den Boden- und Wasserproben konnten betraechtliche Mengen Quecksilber, Polyzyklische Aromatische Kohlenwasserstoffe (PAK), Ethylen-Dichlorid und andere hochgiftige Substanzen, darunter Dioxine, nachgewiesen werden. Die Giftstoffe gefaehrden Trinkwasservorraete und andere Lebensgrundlagen nicht nur in der Republik Jugoslawien, sondern auch in benachbarten Staaten. 

"Die internationale Gemeinschaft muss sofort finanzielle und technische Mittel zur Verfuegung stellen, um die Boden- und Wasserschaeden zu beseitigen", draengte Philip Weller, Direktor des WWF-Donau-Karpaten-Programms und Leiter der Expertenkommission. 

Die Untersuchungen des WWF zeigten zudem enorme Defizite bei der Kontrolle der Wasserqualitaet in den Laendern Mittel- und Osteuropas. "Obwohl internationale Programme zur Verbesserung der Wasserqualitaet des Flusses existieren, war deren Effekt bisher mangelhaft", kritisierte Weller. Dies erschwere es, Kriegsfolgen und bereits vor dem Krieg bestehende chronische Verschmutzung zu unterscheiden. "Zuerst ist es jedoch notwendig, die immer noch anhaltende Verschmutzung sofort zu beenden und die Folgen der Bombardierung der Industriekomplexe in Pancevo und Novi Sad zu beseitigen", betonte Weller. Zusaetzlich fordert der WWF eine staendige Verbesserung des Umweltmonitoringprogramms fuer die Donau durch die Mitglieder der Donauschutzkonvention, zu der Deutschland, Oesterreich, Ungarn, Rumaenien und Bulgarien gehoeren.

Weitere Informationen:
Philip Weller, WWF Donau-Karpaten-Programm, Tel.: +43 1 488 17 253
Anja Rech, Pressereferentin, Tel.: 0171/589 72 26
Fotos: Claire Thilo, WWF Donau-Karpaten-Programm, Tel. +43 1 488 17 271

13.09.99 : USA: Washington Post on Dam Deconstruction

Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

Attempts to Revive Fish Stocks Clash With Other Interests Threat to Snake
River Dams Stirs Passions

By Tom Kenworthy Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, September 12, 1999;
Page A03

LEWISTON, Idaho Tamed a generation ago by four federal dams, the lower
Snake River is less a river today than a broad, slow-moving ribbon of

Near its confluence with the Clearwater River is Potlach Corp.'s mill,
where barges load 170,000 tons of pulp and paperboard a year for shipment
to the Pacific. To the north lies the Palouse, the rolling wheat country
of eastern Washington, its rich bounty contributing to the 3 million tons
of grain barged down the Snake every year. Downstream, 37,000 acres of
desert-turned-farmland are irrigated by the river's flow, and the
transmission lines from Lower Granite Dam pump electricity to Seattle and

Little wonder, then, that when Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt stood on
the banks of the Kennebec River in Maine two months ago and said the
removal of that state's Edwards Dam "is the beginning of something that is
going to happen across the nation," it was front-page news in Idaho.

Here, a national debate over tearing down dams as a means of restoring
depleted fisheries is a major local issue. In December, the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers will release a long-awaited draft of a massive study of
whether to rip out the four federal dams on the 140-mile lower Snake, a $1
billion deconstruction project with enormous economic and social
implications for the Pacific Northwest that could determine the fate of
some of the region's most imperiled runs of salmon and steelhead.

Constructed in the 1960s and 1970s to provide cheap hydroelectric power,
irrigation water and a transportation link to the Pacific rim for grain
and wood products from as far away as the northern Great Plains, the four
lower Snake impoundments--Lower Granite, Little Goose, Lower Monumental
and Ice Harbor--have been the subject of fierce regional arguments for the
past decade.

How much of the blame should they shoulder for the precipitous decline of
Chinook and sockeye salmon that in their epic migrations to and from the
Pacific must struggle past the concrete barriers? Have the billions of
dollars in technological fixes to the dams--improved fish passageways,
safer turbines, and the barging and trucking of young fish around the
dams--made any difference in survival rates for fish? Can the Northwest
afford the dislocation and inconvenience of removing the dams? What is a
fair price to pay for restoring species that symbolize the Northwest?

The pace of dam deconstruction is picking up across the country and
national conservation groups hope to strike a blow on behalf of
free-running rivers and fish. Regional politicians--most of whom oppose
tearing out the dams--have stepped up their campaign in anticipation of
what will ultimately be a congressional decision. More than 100 members of
Congress urged President Clinton in August not to rule out dam
deconstruction as an option for saving salmon. And presidential candidates
are already being drawn into the argument, as Texas Gov. George W. Bush
(R) was during a summer visit to Spokane when he said he does not believe
the dams have to be breached to save salmon.

Advocates of the commercial interests that depend on the heavily
engineered Snake River admit they are surprised that the debate has risen
to the point where tearing out the dams is a serious option. "I've been
involved in this issue for 10 years and no way would I have thought we'd
be talking about dam breaching now," said Bruce Lovelin, executive
director of the Columbia River Alliance, a consortium of barge, farm and
heavy electric users. "But it's on the table. In spite of our opposition
to it, it is here and it's heating up."

It is heating up because the nation's 75,000 dams, once almost universally
viewed as marvels of technological prowess, are increasingly regarded as
river and fish killers.

"The western landscape is dotted with dead rivers that are now trails of
dust and dead cottonwood trees," said Babbitt earlier this summer at the
University of Colorado. "We cannot destroy any more rivers."

Many of the nation's older dams, particularly smaller ones in the East and
Midwest, have outlived their economic usefulness, and are ripe for
removal, said Margaret Bowman, senior director of dam programs for the
conservation group American Rivers. Many are being targeted by
environmental groups, taking advantage of a wave of license renewal
reviews by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which
regulates power-producing dams.

"I think economics is driving it in many places," said Bowman. "We
understand better than we did two decades ago how dams affect rivers. It's
quite expensive to mitigate for those impacts and for many rivers it is
cheaper to remove dams than mitigate."

The removal of the 162-year-old Edwards Dam in Maine, which opens up 17
miles of new spawning habitat for Atlantic salmon, striped bass and
sturgeon, is an example of how once-warring interests can come together to
restore rivers. The subject of a fierce fight that lasted a decade, the
Edwards Dam was ultimately doomed by a 1997 FERC decision that the
economic benefits of keeping it in place and producing small amounts of
electrical power were outweighed by the environmental rewards of taking it
down. A complex settlement followed, involving the dam's owner, the state,
the city of Augusta and other industrial users of the Kennebec.

Finding that kind of common ground with larger dams in the West may be
another matter. The Interior Department is moving forward with plans to
remove two salmon-killing dams on the Elwha River in western Washington,
but Babbitt has repeatedly clashed with that state's powerful Republican
senator, Slade Gorton, who chairs the appropriations subcommittee that
controls Interior's funding.

Gorton opposes removing the four lower Snake dams, a proposal he called
"an unmitigated disaster and an economic nightmare" in a speech on the
Senate floor in July. As the Army Corps of Engineers studies the social
and economic effect of dam removal on the Snake, an effort that will be
part of a larger environmental opinion by the National Marine Fisheries
Service on the Columbia River basin's hydropower system, the commercial
interests that depend on the Snake have geared up for an epic fight.

For all players, the stakes are high. Potlach ships its fiberboard for $4
a ton by barge. It would cost $6 a ton by rail. Grain farmers would pay 28
percent more to ship their produce. Irrigators would lose their farmland,
or have to retrofit their pumps. And in a region that enjoys the lowest
electric rates in the nation, the loss of 1,200 megawatts of power would
cost up to $291 million annually and raise residential rates by $1.50 to
$5.30 a month.

"Everybody's business strategy, everybody's transportation, everybody's
customer base is built around the river," said Potlach spokesman Frank

Among those who would be affected are third-generation farmer Roger Dye
and his wife Mary, who grow wheat, bluegrass and canola on 2,500 leased
acres in Pomeroy, Wash.. "If they rip those dams out and we lose this
life, that's a terribly bitter pill to swallow, and especially tragic if
the fish don't come back," said Mary Dye.

The fish, everyone recognizes, are on the brink. As recently as the 1960s,
after construction of other dams on the Columbia but before the four on
the Snake were erected, 100,000 salmon and steelhead migrated up the
Snake. Last year, 9,300 steelhead, 8,426 spring-summer Chinook salmon, 927
fall Chinook and two sockeye made the journey. In this decade, all those
species have been put on the endangered or threatened species list, and in
the 1980s Snake River coho salmon were declared extinct.

The question is whether removing the dams will make the difference
compared with the current system of barging and trucking young fish around
the dams, occasionally at a cost of up to $1,000 per fish.

The science is anything but precise. In a report last April, the National
Marine Fisheries Service said dam removal is "more likely than any other
hydro-system action to meet survival and recovery criteria for the listed
species. . . ." However, the agency cautioned that "there are plausible
sets of assumptions under which [removal] yields little or no improvement
over transportation alone."

Native American tribes, who have relied on salmon for thousands of years,
were guaranteed salmon by 19th century treaties through which they gave up
millions of acres of land. They have a powerful legal hammer if the
federal government does not act to restore the fisheries.

"We know what will not work, the status quo," said Don Sampson, executive
director of the Columbia Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, which supports dam

13.09.99 : Chile: Tension rises over halted Ralco project (Bio Bio) 
Sources: el Mercurio, La Tercera-

Tension rose among Pehuenche indigenous people after construction on the Ralco
hydroelectric dam on the upper Bio Bio valley in Region VIII was
halted by a court order, causing some 1,500 workers hired by
building company Besalco to lose their jobs.
The ruling was made by the sixth Santiago civil court last week
following a lawsuit brought against the owners of the project, the
Spanish-controlled Endesa generating company, by the Pehuenche
Quintreman sisters in June 1997.
The sisters are among seven indigenous families opposing the
US$500 million project, which would flood the ancestral homeland of
70 Pehuenche families.  Endesa has been negotiating a US$20 million
relocation plan with the other families which the company says will
help the Pehuenche overcome their impoverished state.
Eleven percent of construction work on the 570 MW dam
project, which was due to be operational by 2002, has already been
completed.  In subsequent appeals, the courts will have to decide
whether the indigenous law or the electricity law takes precedence
in the dispute.

On Saturday 300 indigenous people who were laid-off by
Besalco following the lawsuit, gathered in the Ralco area to denounce
the Quintreman sisters, blaming them for the job losses.
For more Information :

13.09.99 : India: A New Phase of Narmada Andolan 

From: Medha Patkar 

Dear Friends,

As you know, the tribal people and peasants on the banks of the Narmada
river are fighting for the last 14 years -  not just against displacement, but injustice and
destructive development too. Not just against Sardar Sarovar but against all
big dams in the Narmada valley and the devastation resulting from the
development planning which excludes people and their real concerns. The
only way to stop all this, we all have seen, is through strong, determined and committed

The dangers of submerging thousands today and lakhs tomorrow, due to
increased height of the dam was seen as a challenge by the Andolan. We
questioned the process wherein false claims of the government misled
even the Supreme Court. We did this to increase and maintain the  dignity
of and respect for the judicial system.

People from the adivasi hamlets and villages plunged into the
satyagraha, through out the monsoon, along with the men, women and
youths of Nimad. While representatives of various peoples' struggles  from within the country and outside, who participated in the satyagraha were a source of strength; writers,
journalists, students and common citizens, who came to
Jalsindhi-Dhomkedi, didn't just express solidarity but participated
in the satyagraha in every way. Many others from different parts of the
country strengthened the satyagraha through marches, meetings, fasts,
demonstrations, dharnas and various other supportive actions. The issue of the violation of human rights in the Narmada valley was raised on the international forums as well. All of them
together have taken up the challenge to save not just the Narmada
valley, but the country and society as well.

Hundreds faced submergence on 10th and 12th Aug. People stood in chest
deep waters, houses fell, fields submerged- but the people did not  move.
Waters receded. People continued in the satyagraha, determined to face  a
second round of submergence. Echoes of peoples' slogans, songs of
struggle and dreams of  reconstruction of the valley reverberated at
the satyagraha, spread across the valley.

With the failure of monsoons, the full submergence did not take place -
Narmada continued to flow silently. While the Satyagraha continued with
the firm resolve to face the waters, the Narmada is a witness to our
determination to work towards bringing a fundamental change in our
society. Another submergence did not come. Will the end of the
monsoon bring a full stop to this struggle? No, the end of the monsoon
satyagraha will be the beginning of a new phase of our struggle.

The matter is sub judice. Has the Andolan by debating democratically
the issues, obstructed the course of justice? Has Arundhati Roy
deliberately insulted the judiciary ? Is Jal Samarpan just a statement
or a threat? Our position is clear - we do not intend to insult the
Court, lower its dignity or obstruct the course of justice, but seek

It has been our position that the dam should not go up and if it does
causing unjust submergence, we will face the waters by Jal Samarpan. We
will not move from our lands. We have also determined to take the
struggle to a logical end. We are committed to the efforts of  alternative development in agriculture, water conservation, health and education in the valley. Some work has begun but much needs to be explored, thought about and done.

We the life-loving people of the valley are being forced into a death
trap. We have our dreams - of sustainable development. We have been
fighting for these dreams for the last 14 years, and will continue to  do
so in the years to come. To help us carry the struggle forward at this
juncture, we invite you to share your visions, ideas  and strength.

27th we will jointly evaluate the struggle, discuss its past and the

Many of you will remember that ten years ago thousands had gathered at
Harsud. People from several dams on the Narmada and other river  valleys,
friends from struggles and organisations from Kerala to Delhi, Assam
to Rajasthan had gathered together in Harsud on 28th Sept. 1989. We all had
together said - "We want development not destruction" (Vikas Chahiye, Vinas Nahi) . It was not just a slogan but a goal and it still is. We will take stock of the decade long
struggle against the Sardar Sarovar and discuss the past and the future
of the struggle with all of you. We look forward to have a dialogue  with
you. We will meet for this in the lap of  Narmada - on the morning
of 27th September. Friends of the Andolan - old and the new - will
gather to decide the future course of  Andolan. We will discuss and
debate on shaping the future of the valley through struggle and
reconstruction. Do come, to be with us.

In solidarity,

Nandini Oza       Shashank Kela   Kevalsingh Vasave     Noorji Padvi
Prabhubhai Tadvi  Bava Mahariya   Sugan Barant          Kamlakar Borole
Rukmini Patidar   Silvy           Jagannath Patidar     Ashish Mandloi
Medha Patkar      Vishram         Sanjay Sangvai        Rehmat, Karuna

You should reach Baroda office by 27th early morning. For reaching the
satyagraha, you will have to go to Kadipani, four hours from Baroda
by bus. There are direct buses, or you can also go to Kawant and  change.
Our vehicle will meet you in Kadipani and take you to the place from
where our boat will take you to the satyagraha. Please inform Baroda
office about how many people and when they will reach.

The last bus to reach in time for the meeting on 27th is at 9 am from
Baroda, but we will prefer if you take the earlier one at 6.45 am.  Reach
to Baroda accordingly.

 For more informations see:

08.09.99 : Rotting Reservoir Makes French Guiana Big Polluter


LONDON - Rotting vegetation in a reservoir that supplies electricity for
Europe's Ariane space programme has made French Guiana one of the world's
biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, a magazine said.

Scientists estimate the Petit-Saut reservoir in the tiny French colony on the
northeastern coast of South America will produce the equivalent of 66 million
tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) over the next 15 years, more than Britain or

"Shared out among French Guiana's current population of 157,000, this amounts
to 21 tonnes of CO2 - or 5.7 tonnes of carbon - per person each year," New
Scientist magazine said on Wednesday.

"This output is more than three times the total per capita emissions from
burning fossil fuels in France and twice that in Britain."

The French authorities flooded 365 km (227 miles) of rain forest to create the
reservoir, which has been powering the Ariane launch site since 1995, despite
warnings that rotting trees would generate large amounts of methane.

French researchers led by Robert Delmas at the Laboratory of Aerology
Observation in Toulouse measured the methane and carbon dioxide coming out of
the reservoir during the last three years and calculated its output until
Their findings are published in the current issue of Global Biochemical

"The findings show for the first time that greenhouse gas emissions from
tropical nations can be dominated by the generation of supposedly clean
hydroelectricity, rather than burning fossil fuels," the magazine added.

According to Delmas little is known about rainforest reservoirs where high
rates of decomposition can lead to the formation of methane, one of the most
potent greenhouse gases.

Reservoirs could be emitting more methane and carbon dioxide than previously
thought, he said.



WASHINGTON, DC, August 16 1999 (ENS) - Forty percent of the surveyed
rivers, lakes and coastal waterways in the United States are too polluted
for safe fishing and swimming. To put cleanup on a faster track, President
Bill Clinton used his weekly radio address Saturday to propose a new rule
that will get the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) working with the
states to develop detailed plans to make the waters safer.
Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 1999
For full text and graphics visit:

back to the Homepage

These pages and their content are © Copyright of European Rivers Network.
For more information, remarks or propositions, send us a message !.
to propose a new rule
that will get the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) working with the
states to develop detailed plans to make the waters safer.
Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 1999
For full text and graphics visit:

back to the Homepage

These pages and their content are © Copyright of European Rivers Network.
For more information, remarks or propositions, send us a message !.