Dams in the Sekong basin: Environmental overviews fail to see Cambodia

Anurak Wangpattana
Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Norconsult’s initial environmental examinations for the environmental impact assessments for the Sekong 4 and Nam Kong 1 dams recognize many of the inevitable impacts of these projects on the environment and people living along these rivers in the Sekong River Basin in southern Laos. However, these IEEs fail to refer to the impacts of these projects on people living downstream in Cambodia. Meanwhile, the World Bank’s Regional Director for Southeast Asia, Ian Porter, and other proponents of large hydroelectric dams invariably claim that these dams produce electricity that is “environmentally and socially clean”.1 The experience with the trans-boundary impacts of large hydroelectric dams elsewhere in the Mekong Region clearly indicates that the impacts of the Sekong 4 and Nam Kong 1 dams on Cambodia and in Laos must not be ignored, and should not be allowed to happen, no matter how easy it is for the proponents of dams per se to dismiss these impacts. 

Attached files: