Wednesday September 14, 2022


“I remember seeing a buffalo, its head tied to a floating barrel, drifting down the river,” says Pheng Sisuwath, gesturing to the Sekong River from his stilt house in Cambodia’s northeastern province of Stung Treng.

That was four years ago, when one of the auxiliary dams of the Xe Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower project collapsed on July 23, 2018, killing at least 49 people and displacing more than 7,000 people from 19 villages in Attapeu province, Laos. The wall of water unleashed by the collapsed saddle dam surged over the Cambodian border, destroying the homes, farms and livelihoods of another 15,000 people.

Now, in this village less than 40 kilometers (25 miles) downriver from the Laos-Cambodia border, news of a new “killer dam” nearing completion just outside Cambodia is prompting fresh fears of disaster.

Scarcely 2 km (1.2 mi) north of the Cambodian border in Attapeu province’s Sanamxay district, the same district where the Xe-Namnoy collapse happened, Vietnamese state-owned Song Da 6 began construction on the 86-megawatt Sekong A hydropower dam (alternately known as the Xekong A or Lower Sekong A) around December 2020.

Read more >

Link copied successfully