Nepal: Defending the Koshi

As Nepal and India push to construct a high dam on the Koshi River in Nepal, a group of indigenous people continues to impede work on the project.

Though the dam offers many benefits to millions of Nepalese and Indian citizens, such as reliable electricity, better healthcare, flood management, infrastructure development and an improved standard of living, those who thwart the building of the dam fear it will destroy their way of life.

They cite loss of their homes, land, holy sites and culture in their opposition to the dam.

Theirs is not so much a story about who owns the natural resources but rather who owns the right to determine a people’s future. It is more a narrative about progress versus tradition, self-determination versus assimilation: A small group of indigenous people choose their own destiny at the cost of the greater good.