Villagers isolated by a rising reservoir

From Hubei Daily, translated by Three Gorges Probe:

The people of Wangusi village on the Xiangxi River, a major Yangtze tributary 45 kilometres upstream of the Three Gorges dam, have seen their way of life dramatically altered by the filling of the reservoir.

The 2,890 villagers, in 804 households, have faced tremendous difficulty getting across the river since the Three Gorges reservoir was filled to 135 metres above sea level in June 2003. This is because when the water suddenly rose 70 metres, the river also became much wider, and more expensive to cross.

To make way for the world’s biggest , many of the villagers had been moved up from the base of the mountain, or over from the west side of the Xiangxi River, to be resettled on higher ground on the east side.

On many occasions they have looked in helpless frustration across the river to their fields, and to the town of Xiangxi, with its shops, schools and hospital. Sometimes, they have paid a tragically high price for the problems they now face in getting to the other side.

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