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Dam controversy: Donors voice concerns on Lower Sesan

Dam controversy: Donors voice concerns on Lower Sesan

Countries that fund the Mekong River Commission (MRC) have called on the government to redesign the controversial Lower Sesan 2 hydroelectric dam, a statement obtained yesterday says.

The $781 million dam, to be built on Mekong tributaries in Stung Treng, has been criticised for its potential negative effects on fish and sediment flow and for likely relocating thousands of villagers.

The MRC development partners – including the EU, the US and the World Bank – said they shared these concerns.

“Given the potentially detrimental regional effects of the Lower Sesan 2 dam in its current design . . . development partners urge the [government] to reconsider the project’s design,” the statement says.

Development partners also want more information on design changes to the Xayaburi dam.

Ame Trandem, Southeast Asia program director for International Rivers, said it was time for the MRC to “ensure that the member countries heed to the concerns raised by its donors”.

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