Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Little information on Lower Sesan 2 dam: report

Little information on Lower Sesan 2 dam: report

Little information on Lower Sesan 2 dam: report

130126 02b
A participant speaks at a forum that raised issues regarding the Lower Sesan II dam, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

Authorities will begin inspecting the land of families in Stung Treng province as early as next week as preparations to construct the $781 million Lower Sesan 2 hydropower dam – which will result in about 5,000 people being relocated – move forward, a commune chief said yesterday.

“I had a meeting with the provincial authority and the Chinese company building the dam on Tuesday,” said Seak Mekong, Kre Kor commune chief in Sesan district.

“They told me they will begin studying the area in February to see who will be relocated. When they have finished [and people have been relocated], the dam will be built.”

Cambodia’s Royal Group, in partnership with Chinese company Hydrolancang International Energy, announced last November that they will build the 400-megawatt dam over five years at the confluence of the Sesan and Srepok rivers.

Mekong’s comments came as villagers and representatives of the NGO Forum on Cambodia told a conference yesterday that families in Stung Treng and Ratanakkiri provinces had been given little, if any, official information about the dam.

“There’s been no consultation from the government,” said Chea Sarom, the NGO Forum’s research information centre manager, at the launch of his organisation’s study into the livelihoods of 315 families, many of them indigenous, who face relocation or threats to their farming and fishing.

“People do not want to move,” Sarom said. “It takes time to construct houses, grow fruit trees and to develop a village.”

None of the nine communities affected by the dam have been given enough information on its impact, the report says.

Meach Mean, coordinator of the 3S Rivers Protection Network, said the dam’s Environmental Impact Assessment, conducted in 2009, had focused only on the construction area, “yet the government assumes this is a comprehensive report.”

Kith Meng, chairman of Royal Group, could not be reached for comment, while Ministry of Environment under secretary of state Thuk Kroeun Vutha said technicians were “evaluating the effects of the dam on villagers before the government develops anything”.

 

To contact the reporter on this story: Shane Worrell at [email protected]
 

Sen David at [email protected]

 

MOST VIEWED

  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Actress’s NGO takes heat for promoting the ruling party

    An actress’s NGO which participated in an election campaign event contrary to the Law on Association and Non-Governmental Organisations (Lango) has been slammed. Chorn Chanleakena, a celebrity and the president of the Association of Artists Volunteering to Help Society, allegedly led its members in

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not