Five civil society organisations (CSOs) in Cambodia working on the Luang Prabang hydropower project in Laos said in a press statement on Tuesday that it should be delayed because Lao authorities have insufficient details concerning the transboundary impact assessment and don’t have concrete measures to mitigate its impact on lower Mekong countries.
The CSOs have been involved in the consultation process of the project since late last year, and they have requested that further studies be carried out with relevant stakeholders before operations commence.
The press statement further said the issues are related to fish migration, hydrology and sediment flow which could impact the Tonle Sap lake. Without concrete mitigation measures, the CSOs said, negative impacts would result.
Mak Bunthoeurn, the coordinator of the Rivers Coalition of Cambodia (RCC), which is led by the NGO Forum on Cambodia, said on Wednesday that the change of natural water flow would impact Tonle Sap lake, fish farming and Cambodian food security.
He said the assessment of the project’s impact on Tonle Sap Lake being used was published in 2014, even though more recent studies have been conducted.