Save the Mekong statement on the collapse of the Xe Pian – Xe Nam Noy hydropower project

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

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