Aboriginal people from the Bunun Tribe in the southern part of the nation yesterday held a protest in Taipei against construction plans of the Water Resources Agency, saying that a project that would transfer water from rivers running through their home towns might seriously jeopardize not only fragile ecological systems but also their quality of life.
More than 100 residents from Taoyuan township and Sanmin township in Kaohsiung County yesterday gathered in front of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, which oversees the agency.
Waving banners and singing songs, demonstrators including shamans held a ritual to curse their enemies, pledging to oppose the project, which was mapped out without consultations with residents.
Demonstrators were received by agency director-general Chen Shen-hsien (陳伸賢), who said that negative ecological impact of the projects would be limited and that an environmental-impact assessment report had been completed.
"Diverting abundant water into an existing reservoir is less devastating than building a new reservoir to meet increasing water demand in the future," Chen said.
The project envisions transferring excess water during the rainy season from the Kaoping River, which divides Kaohsiung and Pingtung counties, to the Tsengwen Reservoir in Tainan County.
Nationwide, 18 percent of river water is channeled for human use. Twelve percent of water from the Kaoping River is used.
According to the agency, the project includes the construction of diversion weirs, a total of 20km of water pipes and two tunnels of a combined 15km in length to make the reservoir more efficient.
In Taoyuan township, a diversion weir, which would be 3m high and 175m long, would be built to divert water from the Laonung River (
The budget for the project for next year was approved by the Legislative Yuan in April.
Bids would be solicited in September.
Chen stressed that laws recently passed by the Legislative Yuan would ensure affected people receive compensation.
However, demonstrators yesterday pounded tables and apparently felt insulted by the way they had been treated.
Le Tuan (
"Why did he bring up the compensation issue? We stressed that we don't want the construction because we want to leave a sustainable future for future generations," Le Tuan said.
It took director Chong Keat Aun (張吉安) nearly a decade to complete Snow in Midsummer (五月雪), a deft chronicle of Malaysia’s May 13 incident told through one woman’s search for her brother and father. Although only his second feature, it led the field at yesterday’s Golden Horse Awards with nine nominations. Chong said it had been a struggle to get people to share their memories of the intercommunal violence following the 1969 national election, known among the country’s ethnic Chinese community as “513.” “My father, for example, would shut the conversation down if my mother or grandma even mentioned the topic,” Chong said
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of