ADB again under fire over safeguards in Laos dam

A Hmong family living along the Nam Ngiep. An energy project threatens to displace indigenous people and destroy the environment in the area. Photo by: International Rivers / CC BY-NC-SA

The Asian Development Bank is again under fire over alleged safeguards violations, this time about a hydropower project in Laos that two NGOs claim will displace indigenous people, affect livelihoods and destroy the area’s immediate environment.

ADB decided last week to give the green light to a $50 million loan for the dam in Nam Ngiep River in central Laos, which is expected to support the sustainable development of hydropower resources in the landlocked country and provide a reliable and affordable access to energy sources in neighboring Thailand. This, according to a Devex early intelligence report, would provide an increase in power generation capacity in Laos and improve the power trading between Laos and Thailand, as well as improve the integrated water resource management in the river basin.