Lao Dams Lower Water Levels on a Scenic River, Harming Tour Boat Operators and Other Local Businesses

Water levels lowered by seven dams along a stretch of the Nam Ou River in Laos are blocking boat travel in a scenic area popular with tourists, impacting tour and passenger boat operators and other local businesses, Lao sources say.

Travel by water between Nong Khiaw and Muang Ngoy towns is now impossible, a tour operator in Muang Ngoy told RFA’s Lao Service on Thursday, adding, “We haven’t been able to travel by boat between these two towns for a week now.”

“The Nam Ou 3 Dam to the north of Muang Ngoy is holding water now because the rains have stopped, and the dam operators are worried that the dam won’t have enough water to generate power,” RFA’s source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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Reported by RFA’s Lao Service. Translated by Max Avary. Written in English by Richard Finney