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Nam Theun 2 dam generates funds for poverty reduction


2015-11-10

Nam Theun 2 dam generates funds for poverty reduction

The Nam Theun 2 hydropower plant, one of the largest in Laos, has generated sizeable revenue for the government and contributed to the alleviation of poverty, according to the International Environmental and Social Panel of Experts.

The Nam Theun 2 Panel of Experts released its latest report this week. The report stated that since the 1070MW dam in Khammuan province became operational in 2010, the government has received US$174 million in gross revenue from the project.

The multipurpose hydropower plant has also brought livelihood, health and educational benefits to more than 6,000 resettled people on the Nakai Plateau.

The government made a strong commitment to international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, which supported the mega project, that it would use the income earned from the sale of electricity to reduce poverty.

According to a press release posted on the official website of the Nam Theun 2 Power Company in Vientiane, the families who were relocated from project areas are benefitting from 1,310 new houses with bathrooms and toilets, electricity and rainwater collection tanks, and 330 water pumps.

They also have access to 270 k ilometres of new or upgraded roads, 16 nursery and 17 primary schools, two new health centres and an upgraded district hospital, and community infrastructure such as roofed markets. All of these provide better opportunities for improved living conditions.

Apart from that, the resettled families receive financial and technical support to take advantage of new livelihood opportunities.

A household survey conducted in 2013 found that 86 percent of the resettled families said they were better off than before resettlement and that 97 percent had reached the Household Income Target – the national rural poverty line .

A later survey, conducted from late 2014 to early 2015, revealed that the average consumption of resettled communities significantly exceeded the rural average.

Since 1997, the Nam Theun 2 power project has benefitted from the advice of the panel of experts, whose mandate is to provide guidance on managing the social and environmental impacts of the project.

The 24th report focuses in particular on the closure of the Resettlement Implementation Period in December 2015, as anticipated in the Concession Agreement between the Lao government and the project developer, the Nam Theun 2 Power Company, the media release states.

The report contains a number of recommendations, including extending the Resettlement Implementation Period for two years with a view to the long-term sustainability of livelihoods on the Nakai Plateau.

The government plans to build more hydropower plants in a bid to generate funding to drive the economy and reduce poverty. The government has also made a strong commitment to develop these power projects in a sustainable manner.

 

 

 

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
 November 11, 
2015)