Save the Mekong, a coalition of non-government organizations, community-based groups and concerned citizens within the Mekong region, wish to express our shock and concern at the recent collapse of the Xe Pian - Xe Nam Noy hydropower project in Laos, and our deep condolences to communities affected by this tragedy, both in southern Laos and downstream in Cambodia. The Xe Pian - Xe Nam Noy dam collapse is a disaster, but not a natural disaster; it is a disaster caused by human error on the part of the dam-builders. Much of Laos and the Mekong are vulnerable to such disasters and to broader environmental threats due to eleven large hydropower dams on the lower Mekong mainstream and 120 tributary dams planned by 2040. The Xe Pian - Xe Nam Noy hydropower project has been surrounded by controversy from its beginnings. In 2013, civil society advocates flagged the project’s inadequate public consultation process, poor environmental impact assessment (EIA), lack of transboundary impact assessment, and the fact that environmental and social safeguards did not meet international standards.
Save the Mekong