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Lao Dam Breach Highlights Fears Over Massive Projects

Non-government organizations and researchers are calling on the Lao Government to ensure transparency in its investigations on Lao populations affected by massive flooding from a breach in a hydropower dam wall that left more than two dozen people dead last month in southern Laos. The southern Lao township of Attapeu, bore the brunt of a wall of water after the July 23 collapse of a portion of the Xe Pian Xe Namnoy hydropower dam. In addition to the dead many people are missing, with at least 6,000 displaced by the torrent. Keith Barney, a specialist in environmental research and natural resource policy in South East Asia at Australia’s National University, says when faced with disasters and other tragedies governments will move to close down sources of information. "The tendency in many cases when faced with difficult issues or external criticism is to cover up and shut down and block out the flow of information, and there are indications that some of that is underway, but this will be certainly raising significant questions and criticisms of the strategy," Barney told VOA. Satellite images show Attapeu lying on a bend of the river with a pre-crisis network of roads, but a later image shows the flooded area as a brown mass of mud with few structures left recognizable. Barney says, “These are very vulnerable people. Many of them ethnic minorities that have already been significantly affected from the original dam construction process, either through the downstream impact or through resettlement and this will just be adding on to their vulnerability in the coming year." The 410-megawatt Xe Pian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam near the Cambodian border is part of a series of dams Laos has planned or built to bolster its economy as the “light bulb of South East Asia” through sales... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Lao Dam Breach Highlights Fears Over Massive Projects, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you Lao Dam Breach Highlights Fears Over Massive Projects

 

 

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Published By: VOA NEWS - Monday, 6 August, 2018

 

 

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