Compensation of some 10,000 USD has been paid to relatives and next of kin of the 71 confirmed killed and missing presumed deceased in Attapeu’s Sanamxay District following July’s Flash Flooding Disaster based upon an order issued by Laos’ PM Thongloun Sisoulith.
The Prime Ministerial Order identifies the funding of payments to victims of Sanamxay’s District Saddle Dam D Collapse as the responsibility of the consortium SK Engineering and Construction, the South Korean dam construction company, and Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Power Co, the dam operator.
Family and next of kin of each of the 71 people officially accounted for as deceased or missing will receive a one-off US$10,000 (Bt320,000) payment in compensation for the loss of their loved ones in the accident.
Prime Ministerial Order 138 issued January 23 came exactly six months to the day since July 23’s dam collapse which sent a flash flood of water, mud, and debris down the Xe Pian river valley in the middle of the night, claiming victims and their dwellings, leaving others most fortunate to escape with their lives.
Six months after the disaster, the lives and livelihoods of many victims remain precarious as most remain unable to return to their former lands or ways of life.
Thailand’s The Nation reported on the woes of the victims in a report entitled “Dam disaster victims stare at uncertain future” in which it said that “fears linger for livelihoods as new villages being built for Lao victims may not be suitable for agriculture”.
It followed a report in Hong Kong’s The Straits Times on January 21 entitled “Victims of Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy dam collapse in Laos languish in shelters as aid, supplies dry up”.
“While the residents of two out of five camps have moved into their temporary new homes already, hundreds of families still have to live in tents,” the Straits Times report stated.
“The camp residents are suffering from a severe shortage of basic necessities, as donations have dropped drastically after last July’s incident stopped making headlines. They said they had to make do with what little they get from the authorities.”
The Laotian Times continues to report on the dam collapse, response, relief, and its aftermath.