Volume 29, Issue 1

March 2013
Special Issue on Livelihood Rehabilitation of Involuntarily Resettled People by Dam Construction Projects: Cases in Asia

Editorial »
Cecilia Tortajada

Research Article

The long-term impacts of resettlement programmes resulting from dam construction projects in Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Sri Lanka and Turkey: a comparison of land-for-land and cash compensation schemes

Ryo Fujikuraa and Mikiyasu Nakayamab
aFaculty of Humanity and Environment, Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan; bDepartment of International Studies, Graduate School of Frontier Science, University of Tokyo, Japan

Contact: Ryo Fujikura | Email: fujikura@hosei.ac.jp


Post-project household surveys were conducted regarding 10 resettlement programmes resulting from dam construction projects in Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Sri Lanka and Turkey. In all cases the resettlement was completed at least 20 years ago, except for one case in Laos. Six of the programmes adopted a cash compensation scheme and the other four were based on a land-for-land compensation scheme. While the World Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development prefer land-for-land compensation, there was no significant difference observed concerning the effectiveness of the two compensation schemes. Cash compensation demonstrated a small advantage for farmers who wanted to change their occupation; for those who hope to move into an urban area to secure a better livelihood, cash compensation could be a better option.

Pages: 4-13


Research Article

The resettlement programme of the Wonorejo Dam project in Tulungagung, Indonesia: the perceptions of former residents

Dian Sisinggiha, Pitojo Tri Juwonoa and Sri Wahyunib
aDepartment of Water Resources Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Brawijaya, Malang, Indonesia; bDepartment of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Jember, Indonesia

Contact: Dian Sisinggih | Email: singgih@ub.ac.id


The Wonorejo Dam project involuntarily relocated many families from the dam site. These resettled individuals opted to move into surrounding villages rather than to follow the transmigration scheme put in place that would have taken them beyond Java Island. Although the former residents were moved involuntarily, many of them are found to be content with their current situation and conditions. The findings of this study may help appropriate authorities enhance their social responsibility and evaluate their respective resettlement programmes.

Pages: 14-24


Research Article

Livelihood status of resettlers affected by the Saguling Dam project, 25 years after inundation

Sunardia,b, Budhi Gunawanb, Fifi Dwi Pratiwiand Jagath Manatungec
aDepartment of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Universitas Padjadjaran, Sumedang, Indonesia; bInstitute of Ecology, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia;   cDepartment of Civil Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

Contact: Sunardi | Email: sunardi@unpad.ac.id


A study of the effects of the Saguling Dam project has been conducted. This paper attempts to examine the long-term effects of the dam construction on the livelihoods of the displaced people, paying special attention to any effects caused by inequality of access to resettlement schemes. The study results indicate that the majority of the resettlers perceived their livelihoods as being better after their resettlement. However, loss of jobs or conversion to less preferable or beneficial occupations caused by the project has affected their satisfaction level. In addition, inequality of access to options of the resettlement scheme has caused differences in socio-economic status among the resettlers. Furthermore, in the long term, the option has also failed to indemnify resettlers from lost livelihoods due to environmental and socio-economic constraints. For future resettlement programmes, the authors propose that policy makers should employ analysis instruments which can precisely predict long-run impacts, while local backgrounds and dynamics are important to be considered to secure the success of resettlement programmes.

Pages: 25-34


Research Article

Resettlement and development: a survey of two of Indonesia’s Koto Panjang resettlement villages

Syafruddin Karimia and Werry Darta Taifurb
aCenter for Economic Research and Institutional Development, Andalas University, Padang, Indonesia; bAndalas University, Padang, Indonesia

Contact: Syafruddin Karimi | Email: syafruddin_karimi@yahoo.com


Construction of the Koto Panjang Dam was initiated in response to the rapidly increasing demand for electricity in the central region of Sumatra, Indonesia. The process of resettling the villages affected by this construction lasted from 1991 to 2000. The economic factors related to this resettlement programme include monetary compensation, productive capacity, and appropriate distribution of income. Better-off villages (such as those where a rubber plantation was found) received a higher level of compensation and used this compensation to purchase productive assets. Increasing the level of a family’s income generates better income distribution and a lower level of poverty, whereas decreasing it creates worse income distribution and a higher level of poverty. The presence of productive capacity is necessary to guarantee the success of an involuntary resettlement programme that attempts to improve the standard of living for displaced peoples.

Pages: 35-49


Research Article

A long-term evaluation of families affected by the Bili-Bili Dam development resettlement project in South Sulawesi, Indonesia

Hidemi Yoshidaa,  Rampisela Dorotea Agnesb, Mochtar Solleb and Muh. Jayadib
aHosei Graduate School of Social Governance, Tokyo, Japan; bSoil Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Hasanuddin University, Makassar, Indonesia

Contact: Rampisela Dorotea Agnes | Email: agnes.agri.unhas@gmail.com


Series of surveys and interviews were conducted with families relocated from the site of the Bili-Bili Dam project in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, to remote transmigration areas in the same province. At the time of the survey, all families had received their full amount of cash compensation for relocation. In addition, they had been given an opportunity to join the Transmigration Programme (TP) to receive land and houses for free; however, many suffered from hardships and their strong attachment to their homeland forced them to return. The results of this survey show that families who joined the TP did in fact use their compensation money to purchase small pieces of land and homes close to their original village. Those who were successful and saved money while living in TP areas, as well as those who sold their land in the TP areas, mostly returned to the dam vicinity and were able to purchase land and homes in that area. It is therefore concluded that this resettlement scheme was successful.

Pages: 50-58


Research Article

The livelihood reconstruction of resettlers from the Nam Ngum 1 hydropower project in Laos

Bounsouk Souksavatha and Miko Maekawab
aFaculty of Engineering, National University of Laos, Vientiane; bWisdom of Water (Suntory) Corporate-Sponsored Research Program, Organization for Interdisciplinary Research Projects, University of Tokyo, Japan

Contact: Bounsouk Souksavath | Email: bounsoukk@yahoo.co.uk


The Nam Ngum 1 hydropower project took place in the early 1970s and displaced about 23 villages and 570 households. This research focuses on two resettlement villages: Pakcheng and Phonhang. A comparison is made concerning the livelihood conditions of these two villages, resettled in 1968 and 1977, respectively. The methodology involved consultation meetings in each village and one-on-one interviews of 100 households (50 households per village). This case study has determined that in terms of family income for these two villages, Pakcheng is significantly more affluent than Phonhang. This is probably because Pakcheng is located along a main road and has far better facilities and irrigation systems.

Pages: 59-70


Research Article

Reconstruction of the livelihood of resettlers from the Nam Theun 2 hydropower project in Laos

Bounsouk Souksavatha and Mikiyasu Nakayamab
aFaculty of Engineering, National University of Laos, Vientiane, Lao PDR; bGraduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo, Japan

Contact: Bounsouk Souksavath | Email: bounsoukk@yahoo.co.uk


The Nam Theun 2 (NT2) hydropower project displaced 6738 people from 17 villages and 1298 households. This research focuses on four resettlement villages. Household interviews were conducted to learn more about variations in living conditions, traditions and culture in the villages that were relocated independently compared to villages in which relocation had merged older villages together. The case study suggests that most resettlers wanted to remain exclusively with their own village members.However, it was impossible for every village to have its own resettlement location given the scarcity of the land and resources in the resettlement areas. As a result, some villages were merged with other villages in the newly developed resettlement villages. On a different note, the NT2 project provided superior compensation for the resettlers when compared with other similar projects in Laos. However, the NT2 project had insufficient land resources to satisfy the agricultural needs of the resettlers and thus created a situation where the livelihood of the villages will not be sustainable when the project concludes its support for the resettlers.

Pages: 71-86


Research Article

Long-term perceptions of project-affected persons: a case study of the Kotmale Dam in Sri Lanka 

Jagath Manatungea and  Naruhiko Takesadab
aDepartment of Civil Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka; bFaculty of Humanity and Environment, Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan

Contact: Jagath Manatunge | Email: manatunge@uom.lk


Many of the negative consequences of dam-related involuntary displacement of affected communities can be overcome by careful planning and by providing resettlers with adequate compensation. In this paper the resettlement scheme of the Kotmale Dam in Sri Lanka is revisited, focusing on resettlers’ positive perceptions. Displaced communities expressed satisfaction when income levels and stability were higher in addition to their having access to land ownership titles, good irrigation infrastructure, water, and more opportunities for their children. However, harsh climate conditions, increased incidence of diseases and human–wildlife conflicts caused much discomfort among resettlers. Diversification away from paddy farming to other agricultural activities and providing legal land titles would have allowed them to gain more from resettlement compensation.

Pages: 87-100


Research Article

Atatürk Dam resettlement process: increased disparity resulting from insufficient financial compensation 

Erhan Akcaa, Ryo Fujikurab and Cigdem Sabbaga
aAdiyaman University, Technical Programs, Turkey; bFaculty of Humanity and Environment, Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan; Adiyaman University, Technical Programs, Turkey

Contact: Erhan Akca | Email: erakca@gmail.com


A survey of 99 resettled families displaced by construction of the Ataturk Dam in Turkey revealed that only a few of the families agreed to the resettlement plan and most of them resettled reluctantly. The compensation for this displacement was primarily monetary; however, the actual amount of the compensation did not reflect the market price of the land and most of the families presently own less land than they did prior to the resettlement. This resettlement adversely affected those who owned small parcels of land in particular, as many have stopped farming and are presently working as labourers or crop sharers. Many who owned large parcels of land were able to continue farming. The insufficient compensation offered by this project widened the disparity between these two groups.

Pages: 101-108


Research Article

The long-term implications of compensation schemes for community rehabilitation: the Kusaki and Sameura dam projects in Japan

Kyoko Matsumoto, Yu Mizuno and Erika Onagi
Department of International Studies, Graduate School of Frontier Science, University of Tokyo, Japan

Contact: Kyoko Matsumoto | Email: aquakyon26@yahoo.co.jp


Very few studies have been conducted to analyze the long-term consequences of large infrastructure development on community rehabilitation. This study reviews the Kusaki and Sameura dam projects in Japan, which were carried out in the 1970s. This research attempted to identify factors in the compensation schemes and resettlement negotiations of these projects that affected long-term community rehabilitation and individual resettlement. The lessons learned from this study will provide valuable knowledge for developing countries where large infrastructure development has been vigorously undertaken.

Pages: 109-119