Stop the Centennial Dams

Big dams have always been hyped to the public as extremely useful. They irrigate farms, provide drinking water and generate electricity. Yet, they also flood vast tracts of forests and agricultural lands, displace thousands of people, especially indigenous communities, and in many instances, violate people’s rights.

The New Centennial Water Source Project (NCWSP), popularly called Centennial Dam Project, is a series of dams to be constructed on the Kaliwa-Kanan-Agos River Basin east of Metro Manila that promises to provide several million liters of water per day to the megalopolis. But it is also seen to destroy more than 50,000 hectares of forest and agricultural lands, and evict more than 5,000 indigenous peoples and settlers from their communities and main source of livelihood and culture.

Description and Location

The Centennial Dam Project being undertaken by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) intends to build the Kaliwa Dam, with a capacity of 600 million liters per day (MLD), by 2020, and the 1,800 MLD Laiban Dam by 2027. The 3,000 MLD Agos Dam and 3,310 MLD Kanan Dam are also being planned.

Impact of the Centennial Dam Project

Some 5,173 families will be affected by the Kaliwa and Laiban Dams. Tens of thousands of other families in the provinces of Quezon, Rizal and Laguna will be affected by the other dams. The Centennial Dam project will submerge 2,352 hectares of the ancestral land of the Agta-Remontado Indigenous Peoples (IP). With the construction of the dams, the affected communities, mostly IPs, will be moved to an area which is not suitable to their way of life. All affected IP chieftains have vowed to challenge the project all the way to the Supreme Court.

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