Lao Villagers Displaced by Xayaburi Dam Still Lack Farmland, Water

Radio Free Asia

Lao villagers displaced by construction of the Xayaburi Dam, a hydropower project on the Mekong River in northwestern Laos, are struggling to survive in resettlement towns three years after being moved, saying  they lack sufficient farmland and water to support themselves, Lao sources say.

Construction began on the first of Laos’ 11 planned Mekong River dams in 2012, with the dam going into operation in October 2019 amid widespread criticism from environmental and human rights activists who warned that altering the natural flow of the Mekong River would cause serious damage to the environment and communities living downstream.

Compensation has now been paid to those displaced by the $4.47 billion Thai-owned Xayaburi project, with resettlement villages finally built and land distributed to those who lost their land when the dam went into operation, sources said.

Land and water in resettlement areas are still in short supply, though, one villager told RFA’s Lao Service on Monday.

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