Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Laos’ Xayabury dam impact potentially ‘catastrophic’

Laos’ Xayabury dam impact potentially ‘catastrophic’

Updated " />

Laos’ Xayabury dam impact potentially ‘catastrophic’

A hydropower dam proposed for Laos’ northern Xayabury province could have serious negative effects on fisheries, biodiversity and livelihoods downstream in Cambodia, a spokesman for the World Wide Fund for Nature has said.

“Cambodia will be one of the hardest hit countries from the construction of any, including Xayabury, of the proposed 11 lower Mekong mainstream dams,” said Marc Goichot, a senior adviser on sustainable infrastructure at WWF Greater Mekong.

“These impacts are potentially catastrophic, and can include riverbank erosion, impacting the riverside homes of millions of Cambodians.”

Laos notified the Mekong River Commission of its plan for the 1,260-megawatt dam on September 22.

Goichot’s assessment was far bleaker than that of Pich Dun, secretary general of the Cambodian National Mekong Committee, who acknowledged that the dam would “affect fish migration, but not very seriously”.

“According to the study, the dam is being built far from Cambodia, so only some kinds of fish are migrating from here to there, and that is why the effects will not be so huge,” Pich Dun said.
“But if all 11 dams are built, the people on the lower Mekong will face difficulties with the change in the flow of sediments to their crops,” he said.
But Goichot said the dam would “lead to the extinction of the Mekong giant catfish in the wild and probably other fish species”.
Sam Nouv, deputy director for the Fisheries Administration, said he, too, was “concerned” about the dam. “When a dam is built on the upstream, it really impacts the fisheries in Cambodia,” he said. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SAM RITH

MOST VIEWED

  • Reports: Rainsy barred from Jakarta flight

    Sam Rainsy was on Wednesday refused entry to a flight from Malaysia to Indonesia, media reported late on Wednesday. The “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party’s announced return to the Kingdom on Independence Day on Saturday failed to occur. Rainsy

  • Government studying EU’s preliminary report on EBA

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Wednesday said the government was studying the EU Commission’s preliminary report on the human rights situation in the Kingdom that could lead to a suspension of access to its “Everything But Arms” (EBA) agreement. The

  • Gov’t: Rainsy’s ‘coup plot’ a failure

    The government on Wednesday commended the Kingdom’s security forces for thwarting the attempted “coup plot” by former opposition leader Sam Rainsy through his announced return to Cambodia on November 9. The comments came as Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue

  • Rainsy blocked from boarding flight to Jakarta

    Sam Rainsy was on Wednesday refused entry to a flight from Malaysia to Indonesia, media reported late on Wednesday. The "acting president" of the Cambodia National Rescue Party's announced return to the Kingdom on Independence Day on Saturday failed to occur. Rainsy arrived in Kuala

  • Tour guides question animal release ban in Angkor moat

    The Khmer Angkor Tour Guide Association (Katga) called on the Apsara National Authority to reconsider its decision banning all animals from being released into the moat surrounding the Angkor Wat temple after the authority prohibited the action for the sake of visitors’ safety. An Apsara

  • Kingdom to import 200MW from Lao hydropower plant

    Cambodia plans to import 200MW of electricity from Laos’ Don Sahong hydropower plant early next year to curb power shortages this coming dry season, with the transmission line network scheduled for completion later this year, Ministry of Mines and Energy spokesman Victor Jona said. Jona,