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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 January 2004, 10:29 GMT
In pictures: Altered landscapes and displaced lives

A passenger boat travels on the Yangtze River

Photographer Ian Teh has travelled over 700 km along the length of the Yangtze River in China focusing his lens on the changes brought by the construction of the Three Gorges Dam.

A worker returning home after a day's work at the Three Gorges Dam

The dam, conceived by Mao in the 1970s and made operational in June 2003, when fully online in 2009 will have created the biggest artificial lake in the world.

The destroyed old city in Wanzhou

Cities such as Wanzhou became virtual ghost towns prior to June 2003. It was a place "inhabited by a handful of families left temporarily destitute by local corruption and an inadequate resettlement programmes."

A displaced family travelling by ferry to reallocate to one of the coastal cities in the East

Ultimately over 2,000,000 people will have lost their homes and many have chosen to join China's migrant population, travelling to the richer coastal cities in the east in search of work.

Relocatees  waiting for boats at the old docks near the beginning of the Three Gorges

This huge project promises to deliver a 10% increase in energy supply and an end to the deadly floods that regularly threaten millions of lives.

Migrant workers from surrounding villages dismantling a recently vacated building

The project has an increasing number of opponents, many of whom argue that the dam is not financially viable, that it is being poorly constructed and that it threatens the ecology of the region.

The last vestiges of normal life in a town that has been virtually destroyed.

Teh's pictures show the gradual, dramatic transformation of these once vibrant places into broken communities, uncertain what the future holds as the last vestiges of river life are played out along the historical Three Gorges.

One of the last remaining families left in the old town of Wushan relocating

Ian Teh's 'The Vanishing: Altered Landscapes and Displaced Lives on the Yangtze River' can be seen at Photofusion in London, 30 January - 27 March 2004.

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