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PM to pay visit to Don Sahong dam

Lower Sesan Dam and Don Sahong Dam meetings Stung Treng Province.
Lower Sesan Dam and Don Sahong Dam meetings Stung Treng Province. Kimberley McCosker

PM to pay visit to Don Sahong dam

Prime Minister Hun Sen will visit the Don Sahong dam, which he once opposed, during a visit to Laos next week, the Foreign Ministry announced yesterday.

Hun Sen and his Laotian counterpart, Thongloun Sisoulith, will preside over the inauguration of a new border checkpoint between the two nations on January 10, according to a ministry statement.

“After the inauguration ceremony, Samdech Techo Hun Sen will visit the Don Sahong Hydropower Dam,” the statement reads.

Hun Sen, who once opposed the dam’s construction, made an about-face in November amid criticism from environmental NGOs. Tek Vannara, executive director of the NGO Forum, said yesterday that neither government has done enough research on the potential negative impact for millions of people living in the area, and suggested Hun Sen use the visit to learn more. “It would be good if the prime minister met with the local people there to get their perspective on the Don Sahong dam,” he said.

The World Wildlife Fund warns that the dam could consign the Mekong Irrawaddy dolphin to extinction and hurt the livelihoods of downstream Cambodians.