Thai Citizens’ Group Submits Evidence of Impact of Laos’ Xayaburi Dam to Court

A group of worried Thai people Friday sent added evidence relating to the impact of Laos’ Xayaburi dam to the Thai Supreme Administrative court, explaining damages to fisheries and also significant adjustments to an environment that suffers millions of lives.

In a continuous claim worrying Laos’ very first of 5 intended large Mekong river dams, the Network of Thai People in Eight Mekong Provinces is testing the authenticity of a power acquisition contract in between Laos and also Thailand, claiming that the task has actually fallen short to effectively examine the ecological impact of the dam in Thailand.

“The submission of additional evidence comes after half a year of project operations. During this period, downstream of the dam, stretches of the Mekong in seven Thai provinces experienced sharp and unusual water fluctuations, and ‘clear blue water’ – a phenomenon that signals an absence of the nutrients and sediment that are critical to aquatic lives, fisheries, and agriculture in the lower Mekong basin,” claimed the International Rivers NGO in a press declaration concerning the entry.

“The timing and location of the dramatic ecosystem changes indicate that they are linked to the operations of the Xayaburi dam,” the declaration claimed.

The impact was observed partially of Thailand’s Loei district, along with in Nong Kai, Bung Kan, Nakorn Phnom, Mukdahan, Amnat Charoen and also Ubon Ratchatani districts.

“The rise and fall of the river is not normal anymore. The rapid fluctuations of the river is impacting on aquatic ecosystems and fisheries. I am worried that fisheries, which are important for our food and income, will continue to decline,” Channarong Wongla, one of the complainants from Loei district, was priced quote as claiming in the declaration.

In enhancement to sending the evidence, the Network is likewise asking the court to put on hold the Power Purchase contract till their evidence can be effectively examined.

Om Boun, the chairwoman of the Network, informed RFA’s Lao Service Friday that the group has actually been observing the impact of the dam throughout its previous 8 years of building and construction which a previous application letter was disregarded.

“We sent a petition letter to the high court eight years ago and court has made no decision yet, and nothing has been done,” claimed Om.

“Our worry is that impact from Xayabury dam in the last 8 years is [observably] huge in year 2019 and also2020 That’s why we returned to send [our evidence] once again in order to make the court develop a choice on what they are going to do. We prompt them to choose for us and also for our individuals,” she claimed.

“Problems that we are concerned about are happening right now. We also worry that if the dam breaks, the court can help us. So that’s why we are here,” claimed the chairwoman.

Laos has actually developed loads of hydropower dams on the Mekong and also its tributaries in its pursuit to come to be “the battery of Southeast Asia,” exporting the power they produce to various other nations in the area, and also is preparing to construct ratings extra dams in the years in advance.

Though the Lao federal government sees power generation as a method to enhance the nation’s economic situation, the jobs are debatable due to the fact that of their ecological impact, variation of citizens, and also doubtful economic setups.

Reported and also equated by RFA’s LaoService Written in English by Eugene Whong.

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