Document Type

Journal Article

Department/Unit

Department of Geography

Title

Hydropower-induced displacement and resettlement in the Lao PDR

Language

English

Abstract

The Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR) is one of the poorest countries in South East Asia. Yet it has great potential for hydropower development, and the Government of Laos plans to build a large number of hydroelectric dams on the tributaries of the Mekong. Among the areas where these dams are being built is the Bolaven Plateau, the country's main coffee-producing region, inhabited by 22,000 smallholder households (15,000 of which produce coffee), distributed in small villages of 40 to 300 households each. This paper describes the attitudes of the farmers displaced due to the construction of dams. Fieldwork was carried out in communities displaced by two dams: the Huay Ho, completed in 1997, and the Xe Katam, whose construction, at the time of the fieldwork in early 2009, was planned to start in the near future. By comparing these different communities, the authors look at the attitudes, expectations and perceptions of those faced with future relocation, as well as the difficulties and coping strategies of those relocated, 13 years after they were resettled.

Keywords

Bolaven Plateau, Coffee farming, Displacement, Hydroelectric dams, Laos, Resettlement

Publication Date

2011

Source Publication Title

South East Asia Research

Volume

19

Issue

3

Start Page

567

End Page

594

Publisher

IP Publishing

DOI

10.5367/sear.2011.0056

Link to Publisher's Edition

http://dx.doi.org/10.5367/sear.2011.0056

ISSN (print)

0967828X

ISSN (electronic)

20436874

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