Four years after Laos’ worst dam catastrophe, survivors still live in limbo

Four years after a dam collapse that caused Laos’ worst flooding in decades, survivors who lost everything say they are tired of waiting for the government to provide them with new homes and arable land.

On the night of July 23, 2018, billions of cubic feet of water from a tributary of the Mekong River poured over the collapsed saddle dam D at the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy (PNPC) hydropower project in southern Laos.

The surging water that started in Champassak province, sweeping away homes and flooding villages downstream in Attapeu province, killed 71 people and displaced 14,440 when it wiped out all or part of 19 villages. 

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RFA Lao; Translated by Max Avary. Written in English by Eugene Whong