Commentary: World Bank lauds hydro project in Laos despite reports of loss of livelihood & undelivered land titles

Author: Maureen Harris, Asia Times, Published on: 22 June 2018

"World Bank shrugs off responsibility for hydro project in Laos", 23 June 2018

...[T]he World Bank announced in a statement that the Nam Theun 2 Environmental and Social and Project had closed....

...[T]he statement glosses over major and ongoing misgivings regarding the NT2 project's persistent failures to reach sustainability targets.

...The NT2 project led to the involuntary resettlement of 6,200 indigenous people, and to widespread impacts on downstream communities – especially in the Xai Bang Fai river system.

...[V]illagers...reported a lack of information transparency and knowledge...and its implications for ongoing livelihoods support. 

...[A]llocations of additional agricultural land have not been made...prior to the closure of the ESP.

...[W]hile resettled families have better infrastructure...they continue to struggle because of loss of livelihoods and the means to provide for themselves. Infrastructure alone does not guarantee a sustainable future.

...Given the project’s legacy of failures to achieve livelihood restoration, address and compensate downstream impacts, or ensure transparency and accountability, it is highly misleading to point to Nam Theun 2 as a replicable development model while failing to acknowledge its serious shortcomings.

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