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21 Jul 2023

Radio Free Asia

Laos: Dam collapse survivors yet to receive final round of compensation

"Five years on, compensation yet to arrive for Lao dam collapse survivors", 21 July 2023


“We haven’t received our final round of compensation from the government,” said a villager from Sanamxay district who, like others interviewed for this report, spoke on condition of anonymity, citing fear of reprisal.

“It almost seems as if they are waiting for us to die before they give it to us. One thing’s for sure – we always have to pay our electricity bills on time, but they haven’t compensated us.”


“But help from the government and the dam developers has either come too late or not at all,” he said.


RFA spoke with an official from Sanamxay who said that the government and PNPC have built some infrastructure in resettled villages including roads, access to electricity and running water, and schools.


But he acknowledged that the government’s sixth and final round of compensation – which is supposed to account for the value of villagers’ assets that were washed away in the flooding, including jewelry, vehicles, and other personal property – has yet to be delivered.

“[The central government] is making adjustments to the amount that will be delivered, but they’ve delayed it many times already,” said the official, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media.


A PNPC official claimed that the company has already provided compensation to affected villagers of more than 835 billion kip (US$47.7 million). Speaking on condition of anonymity, he vowed that all resettlement projects would be completed by 2025 and that survivors could expect “better lives than before.”


Part of the following timelines

Laos: Groups demand accountability from companies as well as insurers for collapse of Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy dam

Laos: CSOs allege Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy dam collapse survivors have not been adequately compensated