Tag Archive for 'laos'

Nam Theun 2 Dam Inauguration Hides Project’s Real Costs

Photo retrieved from: www.internationalrivers.org

“After over a decade of controversy, the Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project in central Laos is inaugurated this week, although there is little reason to celebrate. As tens of thousands of people continue to suffer the impacts of the project, 34 civil society groups and individuals from 18 countries have called on the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to take immediate action to meet their promises to affected communities.

The project has displaced 6,200 indigenous people on the Nakai Plateau and affected more than 110,000 people downstream who depend on the Xe Bang Fai and Nam Theun rivers for their livelihoods. The most urgent unresolved issues that must be addressed include:

  • Communities on the Nakai Plateau still have no means for a sustainable livelihood, threatening their long-term food security
  • Tens of thousands of people living downstream along the Xe Bang Fai River have suffered poor water quality, diminished fisheries and flooding of their riverbank gardens, and the project’s funding is inadequate to restore their livelihoods
  • The Nam Theun 2’s reservoir has opened up access to the Nakai-Nam Theun National Protected Area, exacerbating logging and poaching and threatening its ecological integrity
  • Whilst the project was supposed to improve standards for hydropower development more generally in Laos, there is little evidence that this has happened.”

Read more: International Rivers

Cambodians hit as Mekong dries up

“Nations around the Mekong are meeting in Thailand to discuss the vital river’s low water levels. The once mighty Mekong is at a 50-year low in parts of Thailand and Laos.

“Chinese companies have started construction on two hydroelectric dams in Cambodia, one on a tributary of the river.

“However, the Cambodia government has much to lose by being too critical of China, which continues to pump billions of dollars into the country’s infrastructure.

“Al Jazeera’s Wayne Hay reports from northern Cambodia, where the lack of water is affecting people’s livelihoods.”

Mekong waters hit record low

“Thailand’s prime minister has said he will seek urgent talks with China after the water level in the Mekong River plunged to its lowest level in 20 years.

“The river, which has its source in China, underpins the livelihoods of more than 60 million people in Southeast Asia.”

read more: Al Jazeera