US Concern at Laos Building First Dam across Mekong

The United States has criticized Laos’ decision to build the first dam across the mainstream of the Mekong River. The US has urged a moratorium on such projects until studies into their impacts are completed, but the State Department said on Monday that Laos has announced its intention to start construction on the US $3.5 billion Xayaburi dam despite lingering concerns downstream. Opponents say the dam in central Laos would open the door for a building spree of as many as 10 other dams on the 4,800-km-long river, degrading its fragile ecology and affecting the livelihoods of residents.—AP

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