Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Environmental Program

Keywords

socioeconomic impact analysis, Belize, hydroelectric dams, less developed countries

Abstract

This undergraduate research thesis examines the socioeconomic impact of hydroelectric dams on developing communities through a case study of the Macal River Valley in Belize, Central America and the Chalillo Dam. By analyzing the sample population, as well as comparing demographics within the sample population, I determine the socioeconomic impact of hydroelectric dams on the communities of the Macal River and factors influencing levels of impact on the local people. I employed a questionnaire with a likert response scale as my research tool, which resulted in quantitative data. By statistically examining the quantitative data, I determine the overall impact of the dam, as well as variables that influence impact including: urban versus rural location, and occupation based on industry sector. This socioeconomic impact analysis of a large infrastructure development project provides insight into the relationship between a water body, the local people, and the local economy; it determines the portion of the population that benefits and the portion of the population that suffers the cost.

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