Mekong Eye

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Leaked report warns Cambodia’s biggest dam could ‘literally kill’ Mekong river

Government-commissioned report says proposed site at Sambor reach is the ‘worst possible place’ for hydropower due to impact on wildlife

floating homes on the Mekong, Wikirictor-Wikimedia

By Tom Fawthorp

Kratie, May 16, 2018

The Guardian

A Chinese-backed plan to build Cambodia’s biggest dam could “literally kill” the Mekong river, according to a confidential assessment seen by the Guardian which says that the proposed site at Sambor is the “worst possible place” for hydropower.

The report, which was commissioned by the government in Phnom Penh, has been kept secret since it was submitted last year, prompting concerns that ministers are inclined to push ahead regardless of the dire impact it predicts on river dolphins and one of the world’s largest migrations of freshwater fish.

The proposed hydropower plant would require a 33km-wide concrete barrier across the river at Sambor, Kratie province. This quiet rural district is best known as a place for watching Irrawaddy dolphins, whose critically low numbers have just shown their first increase in 20 years.

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