Remembering the Victims of the 2018 Attapeu Dam Collapse

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Today we remember the victims of the 2018 dam collapse in Attapeu Province, and we pray that this disaster will never be repeated.

Four years ago, on the evening of 23 July, Saddle Dam D at the Xe Pian Xe Namnoy Hydropower Project collapsed, releasing over five million tons of water downstream in a crushing cascade.

Tens of people died, hundreds are still considered missing, and thousands were displaced,  forced to seek shelter in areas contaminated with unexploded ordnance (UXO) as mud and floodwater prevented relief from reaching them.

Search and rescue efforts took weeks, while cleanup and rebuilding continues.

A project to build homes for flood-affected families remains unfinished to this day, with many of the victims continuing to wait patiently for new homes.

Aerial View of Attapeu Partially Submerged / Photo: Allan Liu (Hope Vision)

This year, in the heart of the monsoon season, residents are feeling anxious. So it is more important than ever that these legitimate concerns be met with an immediate and transparent response.

Until then, we must each take a moment to reflect on this tragedy, to remember those who were swept away, and those who lost livelihoods, friends, and loved ones.

And we must pray it never happens again.