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.
Public and private banks can literally make or break an energy project when deciding what to finance. Sadly, though, most of the bank policy announcements we have seen this year amount to little more than window-dressing.
There is no shortcut to a sustainable and inclusive PPP program. If the government goes headlong, it could face political backlash.
This was very much an avoidable manmade tragedy caused by poor design, construction and operation.
Much of Laos and the Mekong are vulnerable to such disasters and to broader environmental threats of large hydropower dams the Mekong.
The Korean owned PNPC dam company knew the partially built saddle dam was at risk to intense weather patterns during the monsoon season.
China is helping Laos with its plans to develop as a regional power hub supplying electricity to Southeast Asia and China’s Yunnan province.
Mekong nations of Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar are lagging others working successfully to bring tiger numbers up.