Giant Laos dam underway… What’s next? – Thanh Nien Daily

A young girl watches boats passing on the Mekong River at the Pak Beng Pier in Laos.

For those who had believed that Laos would stick to its pledge to shelve construction of the controversial Xayaburi dam, November 7 was a black day.

It was on that day that Laos broke ground on the US$3.8-billion project despite vehement objections from environmental groups and its neighbors who said the 810-meter (2,600ft) dam would unleash massive ecological changes on a river that feeds around 60 million people.

Worse still, experts said, the decision to forge ahead with construction of the 1,285-megawatt dam would set off a dam-building binge on Southeast Asia’s longest river and galvanize construction of mega-hydropower plants around the world.

“The decision to move ahead against the advice from neighboring countries and the international development community is certainly setting a very bad precedent,” Marc Goichot, who works for environmental group WWF’s Greater Mekong program on sustainable hydropower, told Vietweek.

via Vietnam latest news – Thanh Nien Daily | Giant Laos dam underway… What’s next?.

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