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Cambodia’s stance on Laos dam not a shock

Cambodia’s stance on Laos dam not a shock

Cambodia finalised yesterday its position on Laos’ proposed Don Sahong hydropower dam: unanimous dissent.

“Everybody strongly opposes the project,” said Fisheries Administration director Nao Thuok.

Lying less than 2 kilometres north of the Laos-Cambodian border, the 260-megawatt project could have deleterious effects on shared waterways and fisheries resources. Conservation groups also maintain the dam will jeopardise Cambodia’s Irrawaddy Dolphin population.

Amid growing opposition, the Malaysian developers Mega First Berhad agreed in June to submit the project to a prior consultation process so the four lower Mekong countries could discuss the dam.

As the consultation process comes to a close, all four countries are asked to submit conclusions on the project ahead of a joint committee decision.

Cambodia did not waver from its earlier stance that the dam should be postponed until further studies are conducted.

A technical review of the dam by experts also concluded last month that it largely fails to take into account impacts on downstream Cambodia, where millions rely on the migrating fish for income and nutrients.

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