Affected People

Letter to the Developers of the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Dam

Thursday, January 31, 2013
Mr. Yong Soo Na, Chief Executive Officer Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Power Company (PNPC) 6th Floor, Capital Tower, Ban Nongbone, Xaysettha District, Vientiane, Lao PDR Jan. 30, 2013 Dear Mr. Yong Soo Na, I am writing on behalf of International Rivers to raise specific questions and concerns about the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Hydropower Project. These concerns are based on discussions held during the past month with villagers near the Nam Kong, Houay Makchan and Xe Pian and Xe Namnoy rivers and Sekong River in Champasak and Attapeu, respectively. According to our recent correspondence with the Investment S

U.S. Urged to Reject New World Bank Focus on Large Infrastructure

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
A group of environmentalists, gender activists and international finance watchdogs are calling on the U.S. government to support calls for the World Bank to step back from a new programmatic focus on large-scale infrastructure, which critics say does little to help alleviate poverty.

Thai Dam-Affected Communities Continue to Call for Fair Compensation

Local leaders speak out during a protest to voice community demands for compensation in recognition of lost land and livelihoods
On 7 February 2013, thousands of villagers impacted by the Rasi Salai Dam on the Mun River in Northeast Thailand gathered near the dam site to demand that the Thai government provide compensation for both lost land and income. These claims date back to the time the dam was built in the mid-1990s. They attest that the dam reservoir flooded productive land they used for both agriculture and wetlands-based livelihoods, and destroyed the seasonally-flooded forest (known locally as paa boong paa thaam). In past years, this ecologically important forest covered much of the Mun River’s floodplain,

How the World Bank Undermines Its Own Development Goals

People affected by the World Bank's Kariba Dam are still struggling to regain their livelihoods
The World Bank proposes to increase funding for mega-dams as part of the upcoming negotiations about the IDA fund for the poorest countries. Such an approach would undermine the Bank's purported goals of inclusive growth, gender equality, and climate resilience.

Letter to Developer of Sekaman River Dams

Sunday, March 17, 2013
Mr. Pham Văn Tăng, General Director Viet-Lao Power Joint Stock Company (VLPC) Tầng 9 Tháp B Tòa nhà Tập Đoàn Sông Đà Đường Phạm Hùng, Hà Nội Việt Nam Mr. Lê Văn Ton, Chairman of the Board of Directors Viet-Lao Power Joint Stock Company (VLPC) Tầng 9 Tháp B Tòa nhà Tập Đoàn Sông Đà Đường Phạm Hùn, Hà Nội Việt Nam Monday March 18th, 2013 Re: Xekaman 1, 3 and 4 and Dak E Muele Hydropower Projects in Lao PDR Dear Mr. Pham Văn Tăng and Mr. Lê Văn Ton, I am writing on behalf of International Rivers to raise specific concerns about the Xeka

People of the Sekaman River Prioritize River Restoration and Reparation

Many families on the Sekaman continue to live on the homesteads of their ancestors.
Over the past few weeks, I have been visiting communities in southern Laos along the Sekaman River. This river flows southwards from the mountainous Dakcheung region near the border of Vietnam to the Sekong River, a major tributary of the Mekong River that crosses into Cambodia. Ethnic minority communities along the Sekaman have depended upon the forests, rugged hillsides, and free-flowing river for generations. Despite the fact that the people of this area are typically seen by the government as ‘backwards’ and in need of integration into the state’s plans for large-scale export-oriente

Xe Pian–Xe Namnoy Affected People Want Consultation Before Construction

Children in the Resettlement Zone Face An Uncertain Future
Last week, I was invited to stay with ethnic Nya Heun families in a consolidated resettlement zone in the Paksong District of southern Laos. Thousands of people were forcefully moved here between 1996 and 2001 from their ancestral lands along the Xe Pian and Xe Namnoy rivers to make way for two dams that were being planned at the time, the Houay Ho and Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy hydropower projects. The rivers and streams near their old homes provided bountiful fish catches and free flowing fresh water; the forests provided wild foods and the space for a form of upland garden cultivation where a diver

Theun-Hinboun Opening Celebrations Obscure Village Concerns

Downstream Village Scheduled To Move
During a field visit to the Hinboun, Hai and Theun rivers in central Laos, villagers consistently expressed fears that the opening of the Theun-Hinboun Expansion Project could have disastrous impacts on their families’ futures.

Seat of Ancient Buddhism Threatened by Fifteen Proposed Dams

A protest rally by more than 1000 monks in Tawang took place on December 24
Tawang, the enchanting land of the ethnic Monpa tribe, with seven rivers that pass through it, is the hub of ancient Buddhist culture. However Tawang is experiencing a dramatic spike in social unrest and protests against fifteen proposed hydropower dams, which has even lead to violence by police against Buddhist Lamas (monks) who joined the protests.

How Chinese Loans Could Fuel Regional Conflict in East Africa

China has made great efforts to support poverty reduction in Africa, and likes to present itself as a friend of the African people. A new report warns that its loans for the Gibe III Dam and irrigation projects on the Omo River now threaten to pull China into an explosive regional conflict between well-armed groups in Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan.


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