Sunday, 23 August 2009

Planned dams in Cambodia ‘could cause poverty to soar’

Plans to build hydropower dams in north-east Cambodia could bring about a rise in poverty and the displacement of around 5,000 people, it has been asserted.

Following an announcement from Vietnam that it is interested in investing US$600 million (£362.4 million) in the two dams – which would be situated along the Sesan River in Cambodia – conservationists and academics have spoken out about the possible social consequences, reports Reuters.

Chhith Sam Ath, executive director of the NGO Forum on Cambodia, told the news provider that construction of the second dam will cause flooding in 25 per cent of the surrounding land, which is currently used for agriculture – something that could also bring health problems for locals.

If completed, the dams will provide areas in both Cambodia and Vietnam with 500 MW of electricity.

In related news, it was revealed earlier this month that six more border crossings are to be opened between Vietnam and Cambodia.

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