WATER PROJECT: DamAge - laos
After the construction of the Theun-Hinboun Dam in Laos more than 29,000 people in 71 villages have lost fisheries, rice fields, vegetables gardens and fresh drinking water supplies as a result of the dam.
The worst is yet to come as an expansion project is under construction and will displace another 4,000 mostly indigenous people from their lands in the reservoir area and displace or negatively affect another 50,000 people living downstream, on project construction lands, and in resettlement host villages.
The extension project, expected to be completed in 2012, will double water diversions down the Hai and Hinboun rivers, significantly increasing the frequency and duration of flooding, causing even greater erosion along the riverbanks, and almost completely decimating fisheries in the Hinboun River.
Known as "The Mother of Waters", more than 60 million people depend on the Mekong river and its tributaries for food, fresh water, transport and other aspects of daily life. The construction of big dams is now threatening the life of these people aswell as the vital and unique ecosystem of the river.