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  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

As Laos is building dams, local communities are sacrificed in the process!

🇱🇦Laos is building dams but sacrificing local communities in the process! As countries in SEA are seeking more sustainable sources of energy, many are showing increasing interest in Lao hydropower. The Lao government's reckless plan to build over 100 dams along the Mekong river is nothing to brag about - they're dubbing themselves the 'Battery of Southeast Asia', but at what cost? The reality behind Lao dams is far from being all green.

To make way for the numerous dams dotting the country, countless local communities needed to be relocated. Forced eviction, inadequate compensation of villagers, loss of livelihoods, threats and harassment of activists are the hidden costs of Lao hydropower.

The Lao government’s carelessness in the way it conducts social and environmental assessment impact, or the lack thereof, is greatly increasing the risk of man-made disasters. Ultimately, the Lao people are bearing the brunt of the Lao government’s negligence. For instance, following the collapse of the Attapeu dam in 2018, at least 71 people were killed and more than 7000 people were displaced.

The need for Laos to adopt mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence legislation (mHREDD) has never been more pressing. Only through effective mHREDD regulations can businesses be forced to prevent and mitigate the risks resulting from their activities and be held accountable for any harm caused!

At Manushya, we refuse to accept any more dams in Laos. Why? Because they're not the clean energy solution they claim to be. Sustainable dams? They simply don't exist! All they do is wreak havoc on the environment and the precious lives of the Lao people. Let's stand together and say no to any more destructive dams. We want a real #JustEnergyTransition.

Do​ you still think that Lao hydropower is all green?

#WeAreManushyan ♾ Equal Human Beings


RFA, As Laos builds more hydropower dams, citizens say electricity rates remain too high, (15 March 2023), available at:

RFA, Villagers in the dark even as preparations start for building the Pak Lay Dam in Laos,

(2 February 2023), available at:

Bloomberg, Singapore Imports Clean Power for First Time, Buying From Laos, (23 June 2022), available at:

DW Documentary, China’s helping hand in Laos, (14 March 2023), available at:

While you are here…

➡️ All you need to know about Manushya Foundation’s previous work on Laos, the Attapeu dam collapse and our campaign to #FreeMuay from jail:


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