Laos pushed ahead with the Xayaburi Dam to become the largest energy exporter in the region, or the “Battery of Asia.”
A massive 1,285 megawatt Xayaburi Dam on the Mekong River is built by Ch. Karnchang, one of Thailand’s largest construction companies. The dam is expected to bring enormous profits to these companies and the Lao government. However, 202,000 people living near the land used for the construction and operation of XHPP have been directly affected and at least 2,100 people need to be resettled.
Changes in stream flow and level of water will cause substantial threat in countries downstream and will have an impact on some of the river’s complex ecosystems that serve as important fish habitats including the iconic Mekong Giant Catfish. Long-term environmental effects will decline a number fish stocks that feed millions of people along the riverbanks and reduce food security and agricultural productivity. Not only it heightens the environmental change and but also it increases more Climate Change threats in the Lower Mekong Basin.
The Xayaburi Dam would be 820 metres (2,690 ft) long and 32.6 metres (107 ft) high with a rated hydraulic head of 18 metres (59 ft) becomes the largest energy exporter in the region, or the “Battery of Asia.” Laos is one of the poorest and least developed countries in East Asia. The construction of this massive hydropower dam will expand the electricity capacity for the country and sell it to countries nearby and make huge economic benefits. Critics say it could threaten fisheries and rice cultivation which in turn could also threaten the livelihoods of millions of people living in the lower parts of the Mekong river.
A Lao soldier is guarding construction workers while they are exploding the rock in front of the dam with flash powder.
A use of a rock breaker hammer to excavate and blast or explode a rock with flash powder.
Construction workers are working inside the tunnel of the navigation lock.
Trucking in progress on closing down the river.
A mas uses a wood stick to segregate the demolition debris before houses will be moved to the resettlement areas.
A man is walking over a pile of wood and other debris from demolition of houses.
People are waiting to move out of their houses which will be demolished soon
During drought periods, low flows through downstream countries can cause substantial threat and have an impact on some of the river’s complex ecosystems that serve as important fish habitats including those of iconic Mekong Giant Catfish.