The Situation of the Penan and Kenyah Indigenous Peoples vs. the Construction of the Murum Dam in Northern Sarawak, Malaysia
The Murum Dam is part of a project to build 12 new dams on the Murum river, which is expected to displace 10,000 indigenous people and flood thousands of hectares of pristine forest. The SEB knew that indigenous people were living there but did not consider their livelihoods while planning the Murum Dam as the Malaysian government does not recognize the Penan's claim to the land. So far, approximately 1500 indigenous people, mostly from the Penan tribe, have been displaced. The village of Long Wat, in the immediate area of flooding were promised the sum of $3240 USD and ten acres of land per family for their relocation. However, these promises weren’t recognized, as no money was given, and families only received three acres of sandy and rocky land, unsuitable for farming. The usable land was bought by third party farmers, harvesting palm oil and wood products. As well, villages that were not in the immediate vicinity were not given such compensation or adequate notice that their homes were being destroyed and that they must relocate.
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