Ruined Rivers, Damaged Lives

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Impacts of the Theun-Hinboun Hydropower Project on Downstream Communities in Lao PDR

This report, commissioned by FIVAS, a Norwegian advocacy group, exposes the mounting social and environmental toll of the Theun-Hinboun Hydropower Project in the decade since it was completed. The Theun-Hinboun Power Company (THPC) is co-owned by Statkraft, a Thai power company and the Lao government.

Ruined Rivers, Damaged Lives Cover
Ruined Rivers, Damaged Lives Cover
The FIVAS investigation details increasingly severe flooding along the Hai and Hinboun Rivers over the last nine years largely due to water releases from the project. Local villagers have suffered massive decreases in fish and other aquatic resources, for which the Company has paid no compensation. They have also been forced to abandon their rice fields due to the repeated loss of wet season rice crops. The flooding has caused water contamination, skin diseases, drinking water shortages, death of livestock from drowning and disease; as well as other temporary food shortages.

The report recommends that THPC suspend plans to implement the Theun-Hinboun Expansion Project until full and satisfactory compensation for existing losses has been paid to all affected people and adequate measures are put in place to address the ongoing social and environmental impacts in the downstream areas.

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