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Laos continues building hydropower dam in Mekong River

Laos is continuing to build Don Sahong dam in the mainstream Mekong River regardless of objections and consultation requests from neighboring countries, the International Rivers Network said in a statement.

At the second Mekong River Commission (MRC) Summit held in April in HCMC, Cambodia requested Laos to delay its damming work for further environmental impact assessment. However, Laos claimed the dam did not lie in the mainstream, so there was no need to consult other member countries of MRC.

Mekong River (Photo: PanNature)
Mekong River (Photo: PanNature)

Dr. Le Anh Tuan, deputy head of Can Tho University’s DRAGON Institute, which is a cooperative scientific effort between the U.S and Vietnam on climate change, told the Daily last week that the dam would affect the living environment of fish in the Mekong River, and change water flows.

According to Trinh Le Nguyen, executive director of People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature), other countries in the Mekong River basin have expressed concerns over the project, Laos has been pressing on with Xayaburi dam and now Don Sahong. One dam may not have great impact but 10 more dams planned in Laos and Cambodia will have disastrous effects.

If more dams were built, negative impacts would be huge, threatening ecology, fishery, water flows, alluvium and agriculture, and Vietnam’s Mekong Delta will suffer the most, Nguyen said.

Having a designed capacity of 256 MW, Don Sahong dam is in southern Laos’ Champasak Province.

MRC will have a meeting in Bangkok, Thailand late this month.

Source: VietNamNet

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