The Laos government’s response to July’s deadly dam collapse was not enough. Socheata Sim, programme manager for Oxfam’s Mekong Regional Water Governance Program, explains why.
As investment in hydropower and construction projects ramp up, ecosystems and communities along Southeast Asia’s longest river are paying the price.
Unpredictable and extreme rainfall patterns caused by climate change make the management of water in reservoirs very challenging.
This was very much an avoidable manmade tragedy caused by poor design, construction and operation.
Lao hydraulic infrastructure frequently induces systemic, path-dependent and disruptive socio-ecological transformations.
Much of Laos and the Mekong are vulnerable to such disasters and to broader environmental threats of large hydropower dams the Mekong.
After studying alternatives to mitigate the impacts of pending dam projects in Laos and Cambodia, experts say, just say NO.