Magazine article New Internationalist

Another Damned Dam

Magazine article New Internationalist

Another Damned Dam

Article excerpt

After a decade-long break from financing large dams, the World Bank began supporting a controversial new hydropower project in Laos two years ago. Billed as a 'model' project, the Nam Theun 2 Dam was designed to incorporate recommendations from the World Commission on Dams, which released a definitive report on the environmental, economic and social effects of large dams in 2000. But now, reports the Worldwatch Institute, both the project's managers and advocates from the International Rivers Network (IRN) say Nam Theun 2 has fallen short of these goals.

The $1.25 billion project, backed by the Asian Development Bank as well as the World Bank, is halfway through its four-year development plan. Two-thirds of the 1,240 families that will be flooded out by the dam have been moved to a new village, but IRN has found that plans to provide for affected Laotians are unravelling. …

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