Power Company to Accept Responsibility for Dam Collapse
The Xe Pian Xe Namnoy Power Company is to take full responsibility for the collapse of the saddle dam that caused a national emergency in Attapeu Province.
The company has so far refrained from making an official statement, however the Minister of Energy and Mines, Dr Khammany Inthirath confirmed in a press conference yesterday that the company would be fully accountable in accordance with the law.
He stated that compensation for all damage to the livelihoods and property of local people would be borne by the power company, as per the conditions of its concession agreement.
Mr Khammany continued that the government would be working with project developers as well as emergency workers to focus on rescue and rehabilitation of those affected by the dam collapse.
According to the Vientiane Times, which spoke to an official at the company, the firm was ready to handle the incident following the concession agreement and related laws. The official told the newspaper that the company would not deny its responsibility for the flood and its consequences.
After the rescue efforts have been completed, a long-term reconstruction phase will begin, including rebuilding of settlements, including accommodation and land for affected people.
Funding for the reconstruction efforts would stem from the power company and its developers.
While the government has emphasized that the dam must take responsibility in accordance with its concession agreement, concerns have been raised in regard to social justice, and the need to care for those who lost family members in the floods.
Regional flooding continues
The situation has been intensified by the impact of tropical storm Son Tinh, which has caused widespread flooding across Laos and the region. The flood situation has made it more difficult for waters driven by the dam collapse to drain out into the sea, causing rising water levels in Cambodia as the torrents make their way to the Mekong Delta.
Engineering experts from Korea and Thailand are inspecting the site of the dam to investigate the cause of the disaster.
It is expected that the Xe Pian Xe Namnoy Power Company will make its statement following the results of the investigation.