Published: Thursday 31 October 1996

A complaint has been filed with the World Bank (wb) and the Inter-American Development Bank (idb) by affected Paraguayan dam victims who allege that the banks have violated their policies in funding the massive Yacyreta dam built over the Parana river.

The complaint was filed by Sobrevivencia -- Friends of the Earth, Paraguay, and states that residents of the Paraguayan city of Encarnacion have been forced to leave their homes due to the partial filling of the Yacyreta reservoir and that they have suffered economic losses, health problems and a degraded environment.

The Yacyreta dam is 70-km-long and its construction which began in 1983 is yet to be completed. The reservoir filling began two years ago. More than 5,000 people are directly being affected by the dam and more than 50,000 will have to be relocated. Resettlement housing is unsatisfactory and also situated far from the workplaces of the residents.

The Sobrevivencia claim pleads with the banks to hold the reservoir level at its current level without further increase and also to invest in measures which would directly alleviate affected populations and also to protect the environment.

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