The Lower Se San 2 Dam will be built downstream on the river, with an
8-kilometre-long wall and a reservoir that will cover more than 300
Once the waters rise, the surrounding Srekor village will be submerged.
Local farmer Pa Tou is one of an estimated 10,000 people who will have to be relocated.
He says the dam will deprive them of everything - homes, crops, fruit trees and their livelihoods.
Tou says the relocation site the authorities have offered them is miles
from the river, bad for farming and does not include amenities.
wall of the dam will block entry to the Se San River and to the Sre Pok
River, affecting the breeding grounds for long-distance migratory fish
that make up 40 percent of fish in the Mekong system.
Mekong Basin is shared by 65 million people in four countries. There are
fears that hydropower dams will cause many among the 15-million-strong
population of Cambodia to go hungry, as they eat more freshwater fish
per capita than any other in the world.
A study published last
year in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences assessed
27 dams that regional governments plan to build on tributaries of the
Dr Eric Baran, one of the authors of that study, says the Lower Se San 2 Dam will be the most detrimental for fish.
found that the fish yield loss due to this dam would represent 9.3 per
cent of the total fish yield of the Mekong Basin," he said.
"So it's 9.3 per cent of 2.1 million tons - which is a gigantic amount.
other words, this expected loss represents around 200,000 tons per
year, which is much more than the whole marine sector of Australia."
The Lower Se San 2 Dam will cost around $US800 million dollars and take five years to build.
least two more dams are planned upstream on the Se San River, along
with another two scheduled for the neighbouring Sre Pok River; and one
on the Se Kong River.
Government officials have declined to speak with the ABC for this story.