Don Sahong Dam Development Project is a Risk to Cambodia

Don Sahong Dam Development Project is a Risk to Cambodia

Don Sahong Dam Development Project is a Risk to Cambodia

Approximately of 90 participants from government representatives, Cambodia National Mekong Committee (CNMC), development partners, academia, fishery scientists, local and international NGOs, especially, communities were pulling together to attend a one-day national workshop on “Concerns on Don Sahong Dam” prepared by The NGO Forum on Cambodia in collaboration with the Rivers Coalition in Cambodia (RCC) at PGCT, #274, Tonle Basac, district, Chamkar Morn, Phnom Penh.

A one-day training conducted on March 20 was undertaken under the specific objectives such as increasing participants’ knowledge on the Don Sahonog hydropower dam project, sharing information among government agencies, development partners, NGOs and communities on Don Sahong hydropower dam and its potential impacts, and lastly giving the floor for participants especially community to discuss about the impacts and major concerns of the dam and tactic forward to overcome those apprehensions.

 “The proposed 260 MW Don Sahong Dam is one of twelve hydropower projects currently being studied and proposed for construction on the lower Mekong River after Xayaburi. It is located 2 kilometres from the Lao-Cambodian border in Champasak Province, Lao PDR. Electricity from Don Sahong dam is planned for export to Thailand. If dam built, it will block the Hou Sahong channel, one of the main channels on the Mekong River within the area of Siphan Don, Laos”, said Mr. Tek Vannara, Executive Director of The NGO Forum on Cambodia said during the workshop.

“I come here for the specific vision and purpose We do not want Dam on the Mekong Mainstreaming and we do not need Don Sahong Dam but the River to survive. I have learned to understand the construction of the dam will provide a great negative impacts to the community people living along the Mekong River including livelihood, health and the natural resources which serve such an important role to balance the environment in our area. What is more important, we are so much concerned about the extinction of the dolphins that have less than 90 in the river as well as other fish species,” shared by Mr. Tep San, 50, a villager from Anlong Svay Village, Preah Romkel Commune, Stung Treng Province.

Back to early March, The NGO Forum on Cambodian was specifically invited by the government for a two-day Don Sahong Dam site visit. After the trip, the Civil Society Organization representative working on Rivers and livelihood issue have seen the huge negative impacts of the dam development on the Mekong biodiversity such as rarely dolphine species and especially the fishery resources which is the important source to people’s livelihoods in both Cambodia and Vietnam (Mekong Delta). Consequently, Rivers Coalition in Cambodia (RCC) as the Civil Society Organization representative decided to address the “No to Don Sahong dam” position on this dam, as well as “No to Mekong Mainstream Dam”.

At the end of the day, the final joint statement from the community consisted of the final discussion over the concerns and impacts of the Don Sahong dam was comprised to share to the relevant stakeholders, decision makers and media in seeking for assisting and supporting related to the risks Cambodia could face from the dam’s construction.

Follow the link for the Joint Statement in Khmer and English:

Community Statement on Don Sahong Khmer Version

Community Statement on Don Sahong English Version