Our Concerns About the Lower Sesan 2 Dam

by June 27, 2009

Villagers from northeastern Cambodia express their concerns about the proposed Lower Sesan 2 dam project. (Part 1/3. View the rest of the film on youtube)

A participatory video project, five villages representing three different ethnic groups from northeastern Cambodia (Lao, Pnong and Brao indigenous peoples) express their concerns about the proposed Lower Sesan 2 dam project.

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Located on the Sesan river in Cambodia’s Stung Treng Province Province, the Lower Sesan 2 dam will block two of the largest rivers in the Mekong River Basin, forcing tens of thousands of people to relocate.

Noted in a Joint Statement by the Sesan, Srepok, Sekong Community Network, and examined in the report, “Best Practices in Compensation and Resettlement for Large Dams: The Case of the planned Lower Sesan 2 Hydropower Project in Northeastern Cambodia”, the Lower Sesan 2 dam will also severely diminish the fish stocks of nearly 100 villages in the region, as well as others throughout the Mekong Ribver Basin, near the Tonle Sap Lake in Central Cambodia, the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, and the middle Mekong River in Laos and
Thailand. It will also effect:

  • Natural resources on river banks, along with natural vegetation, fish varieties, and fauna dependent on the rivers will be affected and lost;
  • Social infrastructure, such as schools, roads, pagodas, health centers, etc., will be destroyed;
  • Farmland will be flooded and lost;
  • Water quality will be affected, and drinking water will be in shortage;
  • Water flow will fluctuate irregularly, interrupting people’s livelihoods;
  • Fish migration will be affected, and fish varieties will disappear;
  • People’s tradition and customs will be affected, and children’s education will be interrupted;
  • When relocated, we are concerned that insufficient compensation will be provided, and we are worried about sustaining our livelihoods.