Lao villagers ‘not ready for dam impact’

Months before its huge reservoir is due to be flooded, efforts to ease the social and environmental impact of a controversial dam in Laos are behind schedule, Reuters reported an environmental group as saying this week.

The latest report from International Rivers highlights what the group says are shortcomings and delays in compensation programmes or communities affected by the Nam Theun 2 (NT2) hydropower project.

"Water is due to begin rising in just a few months, but villagers are not ready to face NT2’s impacts," the report said.

A US$16 million budget was inadequate to compensate more than 120,000 villagers living downstream for loss of fisheries, the report said, or to provide alternative forms of employment and flood and erosion protection. 

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