The Lao government has been heavily criticized for beginning construction on the Xayaburi Dam without first studying the project’s impacts on downstream countries. The region’s most credible scientific experts have raised concerns that the dam will block fish migrations and the flow of sediments down the Mekong River, threatening food security throughout the region. No one, except for Laos’ own consultants, has said publicly that this project is going forward in a responsible way.
This week’s news of a dam collapse in Cambodia raises another important question that the Lao government has not yet answered. Is the Xayaburi Dam safe?