This story excerpt was translated from bahasa Indonesia. To read the original story in full, visit KataData. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our RJF website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
Yohanes, 61, couldn't forget his experience of when he witnessed the Three Gorges dam in Hubei, China, in 2013. It was the first time he had been abroad. Yohanes had spent almost his entire life in Long Peleban Village, Bulungan Regency, North Kalimantan. It's a remote village on the banks of the Kayan River that has no 24-hour access to electricity or cellular signals.
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Since 2010, Yohanes heard rumors about the planned construction of a mega hydroelectric project (PLTA) on the Kayan River. The stunning project, with a total capacity of 9,000 megawatts, is funded by Chinese investors. According to the plan, there will be five dams built with an investment value of around Rp 320 trillion.