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Leaked report decries reservoir

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A worker stands in front of the Lower Sesan II Dam after it was commissioned in Stung Treng province last year. Hong Menea

Leaked report decries reservoir

The final report assessing the impact of a future dam in Kratie has claimed that the dam project could result in “killing the life” of the Mekong River. This final report said the project’s location is the worst possible for a dam and would have serious ramifications on fish and wildlife resources.

Issued by the Natural Heritage Institute with funding from the government, the report was leaked to the Guardian and reported in Wednesday’s edition.

If constructed, it would be the largest hydropower dam along the Lower Mekong Basin, and, the paper highlights, “the huge dam and the waste in that area will block the movement of runoff”.

The dam will have a capacity of 2,600 megawatts and would create an 82-kilometre reserve basin.

“The dam creates an obstacle to fish movement which will ultimately lead to the loss or decrease of some types of fish,” the report said. “Forest animals that depend on the status of flowing water for ecological needs will generally decrease in numbers due to hindrances to their life cycle”.

The Guardian quoted Marc Goichot as saying that water resource experts of the WWF claim “the construction of this dam will seriously affect the efforts of dolphin conservation, fish resources, living condition and nutrition of the rural community”.

According to the report, solar energy is the only one option which could replace the construction of this dam and the installation of solar panels on the existing Sesan Krom 2 Dam will help double productivity, generating more than 8,000 megawatts.

Minister of Environment Say Samal referred questions to his spokesperson, Sao Sophea, who declined comment.

Meng Sak Theara, spokesman of the Ministry of Mines and Entergy could not be reached for comment.

If approved, China’s Hydrollacang International Energy is slated to implement the project.

In September, Prime Minister Hun Sen criticised extremist environmental NGOs and unnamed diplomats for trying to prevent the development of dams in the Kingdom, stating that the government wanted citizens in all rural areas to have electricity by 2022.

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