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A Kinder, Gentler Dam [Laos]

Dam projects in poor countries tend to wreak havoc on the communities they displace. But the $1.4 billion Nam Theun 2 dam in central Laos is a different story [consortium owned by EDF Intl. (part of Electricité de France), Electricity Generating Public Company, Italthai (Italian-Thai Development), Electricité du Laos.]... [The] World Bank and the Laotian government promise to double [displaced families'] incomes within four years. And where villages have been moved, communities have been kept together, transported nearby and given a role in designing their new homes... The project has its doubters: dozens of NGOs chided the Bank for not adopting even more demanding standards. But World Bank support helped keep NT2 from running to the financiers of the Merowe dam in Sudan, where, in April, 3 protesters were killed and 50 wounded.