VRN facilitates troubleshooting leaking Song Trangh 2 Dam
Song Trangh 2 Dam in Quang Nam (Vietnam) is leaking. This poses a serious danger to local communities and their livelihood. There is little room for any public debate about the problems, despite the local populations' deep concerns. To try and find a solution, Both ENDS' partner organisation Vietnam Rivers Network (VRN) organised a workshop in cooperation with authorities and experts.
The workshop "Sustainable Hydropower Plant Development: Lessons Learnt and Recommendations", which took place this May, proves to be successful in making the problems negotiable. Although the National Assembly Representatives Office (NARO) from the Quang Nam province co-organised the event, NARO representatives from other provinces also participated. The aim was to formulate a shared strategy for the National Congress (which took place from May 21st until June 21st) . According to VRN, the biggest problem is the lack of information about the causes and consequences of the dam's leak. The organisation believes the media could and should play an important role in spreading this information. There was definitely a lot of interest: thirteen media outlets attended the workshop.
The workshop has had direct consequences: three days before the National Congress started, the National Committee of Science and Technology visited the dam to assess the situation. During the Congress it became clear that agreements have been made to repair the dam before the flood season. The Ministry of Construction and the East China Institute committed to support dam operator 'Electricity of Vietnam ' with their efforts to increase the safety of the dam.
Following the workshop, VRN has formulated several recommendations for future hydropower projects. Planning should involve all stakeholders in order to minimise or even avoid negative impacts to local communities and the environment. Projects must also become more sustainable, to make sure not only investors but also the community benefits on a long term basis. Dam safety is to be increased as well, taking into consideration the possible consequences of climate change. Both ENDS supports VRN within the ADAPTS network.