The first bullet train to serve the Laos-China high-speed railway was delivered to the Lao capital Vientiane at the weekend, but six weeks before the line is set to open, villagers who lost land to the project say they are still waiting for promised compensation.
The project will run for 30 years from the date of signing, with the Chinese company to work with local residents to grow crops.
Workers on the plantations remain exposed to hazardous chemicals which growers import from China even though they are banned in Laos. Yet, they accept dangerous working conditions because they earn more money on the banana farms than by doing other jobs.
The Prime Minister of Laos announced earlier this month that the Laos-China Railway would officially open on schedule in time for the National Day of Laos on 2 December.
After three years under this arrangement, the villagers say they can no longer tolerate the chemical damage NAMPheung causes to their farms and the environment. “The land is damaged. When they return the land to us for rice planting, yields are down and of lesser quality,” one villager said.
“We release and stock the fish along the Nam Ou River every year, ” Wang Peng, a PowerChina staff in charge of the Nam Ou reservoir immigration, adding that his company pays attention to the choice of fish, “even if the price is higher, we choose local fish fry, but not foreign species.”
Through a variety of data sources an evidence-based picture of electricity pricing and the electricity-generation business in Laos is revealed.
Lao government still plans to launch the Laos-China Railway in December, but with a focus on freight traffic first, followed by tourist transportation when conditions allow.
Reducing fires lit for agricultural management and deforestation, which unduly affect poorer populations, could help prevent 59,000 premature deaths per year.