A Work in Progress: Study on the Impacts of Vietnam’s Son La Hydropower Project

Sunday, January 1, 2006
Executive Summary On November 12, 2002, the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam approved the construction of the Son La Hydropower Project, requiring the largest resettlement of people in Vietnam’s history. By 2010, 91,000 people or 18,968 households in the three provinces of Son La, Lai Chau and Dien Bien are expected to be resettled. Most of these people will be moved between 50 to 100 kilometers away from their current homes and without access to the Da River (Black River) -- a source of livelihood for most of them. Dam construction formally started on December 2,

World Bank Investigation Confirms Serious Problems at Yacyretá Dam

Monday, May 10, 2004
(São Paulo) Following an 18–month investigation of the troubled Yacyretá dam on the Paraguay–Argentina border, the World Bank’s Inspection Panel has concluded that the project violates four separate World Bank policies on 14 different counts. The policies cover environmental assessment, involuntary resettlement, and project supervision, monitoring and evaluation. This is the Inspection Panel’s second critical review of the Bank’s failure to comply with its own policies on Yacyretá, which received World Bank loans totaling $878 million between 1979 and 2002. T

Do No Harm: Avoiding Resettlement Failure at Vietnam's Son La Hydropower Project

Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Vietnam’s ambitious Son La Hydropower Project could face serious problems if the government’s plan to resettle 100,000 mostly ethnic people is not carried out in a just and fair manner. So far more than 1,000 families have been moved away from the Da River to make way for the $2.3 billion dam. A host of problems have already emerged, according to a new study released by the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) in association with International Rivers. The VUSTA report -- "A Work in Progress: Study on the Impacts of Vietnam’s Son La Hydropower Project"

Legacy of Dams on the Zambezi: Group Works to Right Wrongs at Kariba Dam

The Kariba Dam on the Zambezi River is one of Africa’s largest dams, and one with a particularly sorry legacy for those forced to make way for it. Just miles from the huge reservoir in the Zambezi Valley live several tribes who are among the poorest, most remote and least developed in the country. Their predicament is largely attributed to their forced removal from their riverside communities in the late 1950s for the construction of Kariba. For almost 50 years, they have lived in isolation and with few significant development initiatives. At least 57,000 Tonga people living along both side

Pipe Dreams

Monday, October 1, 2001
The World Bank’s Failed Efforts to Restore Lives and Livelihoods of Dam-Affected People in LesothoWhile the Lesotho Highlands Water Project increased the fortunes of the nation’s elite, the majority of Lesotho's citizens were not able to cash in on the LHWP. In total, approximately 1.5 percent of Lesotho’s citizenry is directly affected by the project. It weakened local economies and severely strained the social fabric of nearby villages. Despite a long-term compensation program, huge amounts of resources devoted to “rural development,” and many good intentions, the welfare of affect

On the Wrong Side of Development: Lessons Learned from the LHWP

Thursday, June 1, 2006
The Lesotho Highlands Water Project was expected to offer direct developmental benefits to Lesotho's citizens, and especially its dam-affected people, in the form of jobs, better roads, tourism growth, water supply, environmental protection, and other things. But instead, the LHWP brought suffering to the communities resettled to make way for the project’s huge dams and roads. Tales of demolished houses, fields destroyed, hopes dashed are testimony to the cruel results of the project, a sad contradiction to the project’s treaty which promised a life “not inferior to one obtaining befo

Nam Theun 2 May 2007 Trip Report and Project Update

Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Halfway through Nam Theun 2's construction, livelihood restoration programs for affected villagers are in jeopardy. IRN visited the area in March 2007 and gathered first-hand information from communities about how the project is affecting their lives.

Nam Theun 2 Studies Miss the Boat

Tuesday, February 1, 2005
Project Documents Mask Flaws in World Bank Project A series of technical reviews by independent experts for the Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project in Laos has revealed serious flaws in the project’s environmental impact assessment and social development plan – flaws which call into question the project’s viability and scale of its impacts.Reviewers note that the project documents lack critical analysis, data and information, and the project’s plans for compensating affected villagers have a high likelihood of failure. The US$1.3 billion Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project would forcibly displac

Independent Technical Review: NT2 Resettlement Plan and Proposed Livelihood Options

Wednesday, February 2, 2005
IRN and Environmental Defense commissioned two experts to review the resettlement plan and the viability of the various livelihood options proposed for the Nakai Plateau communities, as outlined in the project’s Social Development Plan (SDP). The reviewers found that many of the plans are unrealistic and that the Nam Theun 2 Power Company (NTPC) is overly optimistic about the potential productivity of the proposed livelihood options. Despite NTPC’s acknowledgement of many of these risks, the reviewers point to a high likelihood of failure that has not been addressed by the project&

Summary of the Nam Theun 2 Independent Technical Reviews

Tuesday, February 1, 2005
Commissioned by International Rivers and Environmental Defense By May 2005, the World Bank and Asian Development Bank are expected to decide whether or not to finance the US$1.3 billion Nam Theun 2 hydropower project in Lao PDR. If completed, the project would displace more than 6,200 indigenous people and negatively affect the livelihoods of up to 100,000 villagers living downstream. The World Bank claims that the project has been carefully planned so that, unlike past hydro projects, people displaced or otherwise threatened will not be left worse off. As well, the Bank claims that the dam&rs


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