Laos: Villagers say construction of Nam Ou 1 hydropower dam has not brought promised prosperity

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1 April 2020

Laos: Villagers say construction of Nam Ou 1 hydropower dam has not brought promised prosperity

Author: Ton Ka, China Dialogue

“Loss of faith along the Ou river”, 27 March 2020

… The Nam Ou 1 hydropower dam was inaugurated in November 2019. It flooded the section of the Ou river – known locally as the Nam Ou – that flows past the ethnic Lue and Khmu villages of Lat Tha Hae, Pak Jaek and Huay Lo, about 40km upstream from the city of Luang Prabang. With a total capacity of 180 megawatts, Nam Ou 1 is the last in a seven-dam cascade being built on the Ou by China’s Sinohydro Corporation. The project is a joint venture with the Lao state electricity corporation, Électricité du Laos (EDL), which holds a 15% stake in the project. All electricity generated by the Nam Ou dams will be sold to EDL.

As a key part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Laos, the Lao government has granted the Chinese enterprise planning and development rights over the entire Ou river basin. The dams will permanently alter the ecosystem of the country’s longest Mekong tributary, but limited information is publicly available, and few Lao citizens know the details of the project…

 “When they closed the dam gates on 21 November, many families brought fishing nets here with high hopes, but only a few caught anything. Today, we can only find small fish,” said Muansy quietly. “When the fish disappeared, the local ferry was abandoned and we began to experience the opposite of the prosperity we had been promised.”…

… “Since the dam was built, we’ve lost our riverbank gardens. We used to plant enough vegetables for our family to eat and to share with our brothers and sisters. Now we have to buy them, and the vegetable seller only comes every few days.” Chansi [a Lue woman] spoke…

… “When we heard news of the dam, I thought we’d get a better life, but it’s been the opposite. Before we didn’t need much money, but now we have to buy everything. I don’t like the new resettlement homes that were built here by the company. The quality is not good, and the wood is soft. I miss my old home. It was built solidly from good wood. Some of our neighbours took compensation money to build their own homes, but the expense was more than the money received. Whose responsibility is it to take care of this – the company’s or the government’s?” [residents of Huay Lo village said]…

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Author: 通•卡,中外对话

“寻访南欧江”, 2020年3月27日

… 南欧一级电站总装机容量180兆瓦,是中国水电建设集团国际工程有限公司在南欧江流域修建的7座梯级水电站中的最后一座,2019年11月投入使用。大坝关闸蓄水淹没了琅勃拉邦市上游40公里的南欧江流域,其中包括拉塔哈、帕甲克(Pak Jaek)和会罗(Huay Lo)这几个泰泐族和克木族村落。这座水电站是一个合资项目,老挝国家电力公司(Électricité du Laos,简称EDL)拥有该项目15%的股份。南欧江梯级水电站生产的电力将全部卖给老挝国家电力公司。

作为“一带一路”倡议在老挝的重要组成部分,老挝政府授权中国企业对整个南欧江流域进行规划和开发。这些大坝将会永远地改变老挝境内这条湄公河最长支流的生态系统,但是目前公开的信息还很有限,很多老挝人并不了解项目的具体细节…

莫安斯静静地说道:“11月21日大坝关闸蓄水的时候,许多人家都满怀希望地带着渔网来到这里,但基本都没有捕到什么东西。如今,我们也只能抓到一些小鱼。鱼群消失后,当地的轮渡也停航了,我们开始感受到与此前允诺的繁荣相反的生活。”…

… 她[一位泰泐族妇女]说:“自从大坝建好之后,我们在岸边的园子也没了。以前我们会在院子里种些自家吃的蔬菜,兄弟姐妹之间还会互通有无。但是现在我们必须买菜吃,而且卖菜的每隔几天才能来一次。”…

会罗村是我这段旅途的最后一站。在那里我遇到了45岁、身材高大的昆(Khone)。他用浓重的泰泐族口音说道:“这条河已经和以前不一样了。水电站拦截了河水之后,水位会突然下降,然后又会突然上升。水中的鱼不是死了,就是游到别处去了。以前我们还会在这里淘金,现在黄金也没有了。”

… [会罗村村民说]:“刚听到修建大坝的消息时,我以为日子会变好,但现在看恰恰相反。以前我们不需要很多钱,但现在什么东西都要靠买。我不喜欢水电公司在这儿给我修的新房子。这房子的质量不好,木质不够坚硬。我还是怀念我的老房子,那可都是用上好的木头建的。有些邻居拿了补偿金自己建房子,但是根本不够用。到底谁该为这里的居民生活负责?”…

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Author: 通•卡,中外對話

“尋訪南歐江”, 2020年3月27日

… 南歐一級電站總裝機容量180兆瓦,是中國水電建設集團國際工程有限公司在南歐江流域修建的7座梯級水電站中的最後一座,2019年11月投入使用。大壩關閘蓄水淹沒了瑯勃拉邦市上游40公里的南歐江流域,其中包括拉塔哈、帕甲克(Pak Jaek)和會羅(Huay Lo)這幾個泰泐族和克木族村落。這座水電站是一個合資項目,老撾國家電力公司(Électricité du Laos,簡稱EDL)擁有該項目15%的股份。南歐江梯級水電站生產的電力將全部賣給老撾國家電力公司。

作為“一帶一路”倡議在老撾的重要組成部分,老撾政府授權中國企業對整個南歐江流域進行規劃和開發。這些大壩將會永遠地改變老撾境內這條湄公河最長支流的生態系統,但是目前公開的信息還很有限,很多老撾人並不了解項目的具體細節…

莫安斯靜靜地說道:“11月21日大壩關閘蓄水的時候,許多人家都滿懷希望地帶著漁網來到這裡,但基本都沒有捕到什麼東西。如今,我們也只能抓到一些小魚。魚群消失後,當地的輪渡也停航了,我們開始感受到與此前允諾的繁榮相反的生活。”…

… 她[一位泰泐族婦女]說:“自從大壩建好之後,我們在岸邊的園子也沒了。以前我們會在院子裡種些自家吃的蔬菜,兄弟姐妹之間還會互通有無。但是現在我們必須買菜吃,而且賣菜的每隔幾天才能來一次。”…

會羅村是我這段旅途的最後一站。在那裡我遇到了45歲、身材高大的昆(Khone)。他用濃重的泰泐族口音說道:“這條河已經和以前不一樣了。水電站攔截了河水之後,水位會突然下降,然後又會突然上升。水中的魚不是死了,就是游到別處去了。以前我們還會在這里淘金,現在黃金也沒有了。”

… [會羅村村民說]:“剛聽到修建大壩的消息時,我以為日子會變好,但現在看恰恰相反。以前我們不需要很多錢,但現在什麼東西都要靠買。我不喜歡水電公司在這兒給我修的新房子。這房子的質量不好,木質不夠堅硬。我還是懷念我的老房子,那可都是用上好的木頭建的。有些鄰居拿了補償金自己建房子,但是根本不夠用。到底誰該為這裡的居民生活負責?”…

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