Publication Date

April 2015


Barry Chernoff


Environmental Studies


English (United States)


On the Saptakoshi River in Nepal, local communities are fighting against the proposed construction of a hydropower dam that will have many consequences on their land, homes, and indigenous cultures. This thesis draws on the experiences of the people living in the villages by the river who will be affected by the high dam. Based on field research and interviews from the Koshi Basin, the thesis is a creative nonfiction account of the experiences and perspectives of the local populations that will be most directly affected by the dam. It explores the themes of displacement, loss of the sacred river and spiritual sites, and environmental degradation as the three greatest consequences of the dam to the local communities. It then explores the anti-dam resistance movement that has formed as a result of the exclusion of village residents from the project planning process. Finally, the thesis examines the larger development interests of the Koshi Basin communities and outlines alternate possibilities to the process of development that would be more inclusive and equitable and would address local needs and desires.



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