Residents of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta have raised objections to the Don Sahong hydropower dam that Laos plans to build on the Mekong River's main stream. The objections came in late November after the Hanoi-based Green Innovation and Development Center, the Center for Biodiversity and Development at Vietnam Rivers Network, and local authorities finished a nearly two-week survey in communes in Can Tho and the five provinces of Ca Mau, Soc Trang, An Giang, Kien Giang, Vinh Long.
Bangkok, Thailand - The Save the Mekong coalition (StM) supports the Network of Thai People in the Eight Provinces of the Mekong Basin (the Network) filing an injunction today in the Thai Administrative Court calling for a suspension of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the Xayaburi Dam, the first dam being built on the Lower Mekong River.
Vietnamese environmentalists say the hydropower race unfolding on the lower Mekong River will destroy the delta's downstream economy. Experts at a Tuesday conference in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang called the dams "bombs" looming over millions of people, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.
In August 2014, a 5.5 MW hydropower dam broke for the second time in Gia Lai Province. Luckily no one was killed. This isn’t the first time that dams have leaked or broken in Vietnam but what was striking was the fact that according to the article the construction company ignored basic safety consideration by building the dam in the wet season. As a result, the cement didn’t dry properly and couldn’t withstand the water pressure. After the dam failed for the first time in June 2013, the provincial government ordered the company to suspend construction. The company refused.
By normal standards, the scrapping of two controversial dams planned in a protected area should have been a done deal by now. But victories for the environment have become extremely rare in Vietnam in recent years and opponents of the two dams, to be built in the core of the UNESCO-recognized Dong Nai Biosphere Reserve, appear to be seeing the writing on the wall.