Don Sahong Dam ‘Prior Consultation’ to Begin

The Cambodia National Mekong Committee will soon begin meeting with villagers in Stung Treng province to gauge their concerns over the controversial Don Sahong dam, which Laos has proposed to build on the Mekong River 1.5 km from the Cambodian border.

In 2013, Laos announced its intention to begin construction by that year’s end without undergoing procedures laid out in the 1995 Mekong Agreement, which states that hydropower projects on the Mekong River’s mainstream must be submitted to a lengthy consultation process between member countries.

Laos later bowed to pressure from environmental groups and activists who raised concerns that the dam would negatively affect the lives of villagers downstream and agreed to embark on what is known as the “prior consultation” process.

As part of this procedure, the Cambodia National Mekong Committee representatives will meet with local authorities and villagers in Stung Treng on Friday and Saturday, according to Kol Vattana, deputy secretary general of the committee.

The committee will then use these discussions to inform its comments to Laos about the dam.

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