Locals differ on impacts from Cambodia dam project

Cambodia’s Lower Sesan 2 (LS2) hydropower project brings about concerns to the locals, either those refusing to move or those accepting the resettlement deals. According to the project’s environmental impact assessment report, 4,785 people from seven villages must relocate from four communes in the reservoir area. It is estimated that 78,000 people upstream would lose access to migratory fish, and 22,000 people immediately downstream would be negatively affected by changes in river hydrology, water quality and fish numbers.

Lower Sesan 2: Construction resumed, troubles restarted

Thousands of workers, mostly Chinese, are hustling working on the Lower Sesan 2 (LS2) dam site in Northeast Cambodia, and nearly 40% of their work is complete. The US$816 million project was approved by Cambodia’s Council of Ministers in 2012. However, in November 2014, the dam construction was stopped due to environmental controversy and opposition from communities and some NGOs, but has been re-started since March 2015. And, as construction has resumed, the communities concerns have been reprised and the trouble has restarted.

Southeast Asian Journalists Explore Dams and their Impacts

Hydropower development is racing across Southeast Asia’s Mekong region, and Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN) is helping journalists investigate the costs and benefits for the environment and communities. As part of the USAID-sponsored Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) program, EJN supported 15 journalists to meet researchers, affected communities, Cambodian government officials and local NGOs in a workshop last week, “Understanding Energy: The Benefits and Costs of Hydropower”, focusing on hydropower dams in Cambodia.