Environmentalists and non-governmental organizations from over thirty countries in the Asia-Pacific region urge the Mekong River Commission to object to plans to build six dams on the Mekong by Laos, Thailand and Cambodia.
The NGOs say the dams will have disastrous socio-environmental impacts, causing great damages to the biodiversity of the project areas, not to mention the lives of hundreds of thousands of people living in the future reservoir areas who will have to be evacuated. Thousands more who live in the downstream areas will also be affected during rainy seasons when the river will be dry because the dams will be closed.
The six proposed dams include four in Laos, one in Thailand, and one in Kampuchea. Officials of those countries say the dams are still in the feasibility study stage, which means they might not be built if the studies do not support construction.
Laos has commissioned companies from China, Thailand, and Malaysia to conduct feasibility studies on the proposed Done Sahong dam project in Champassack province, the Pak Lay and Sayabouly dams in Sayabouly province, and the Pak Baeng dam in Oudomxay province. It has also commissioned a Vietnamese company to perform a feasibility study on a dam project in Luang Prabang.
Listen to our Laos Today study for more details in Lao.