Son La Hydropower Dam, Vietnam

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">Construction of the Son La Hydropower project on the Da River was approved in June 2001 and commenced in 2005. It is located 250km upstream of the Hoa Binh Hydropower Dam and approximately 360km northwest of Hanoi. The Son La dam is a multi-purpose project for electricity supply, water storage for irrigation, and flood protection. Its capacity is 2400 MW and can generate approximately 9,000GW of power annually. The project was originally scheduled to be operational in 2015, but in order to increase national revenue, construction was sped up to be completed 2 years early in 2013. The World Bank funded the feasibility study for the project but would not fund the construction. The Russian government and Japanese consultants Electricity and Power Distribution Company also contributed financially to feasibility studies for Son La. The project is entirely State funded, with some support for the resettlement program from the Asian Development Bank. As means to help finance Son La Electricity of Vietnam increased electricity prices and the dam completed construction to become operational two years ahead of schedule was to also help finance the project. </div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none"> The Son La Dam has been a very controversial project as it required the resettlement of 100,000 mainly ethnic minority people have been moved up to 100km away from the reservoir area where they previously lived, which is the largest resettlement in Vietnamese history. Of the displaced people, 83 % were part of the Thai ethnic minority group, 6% from the La Ha ethnic group and the rest comprised of Kinh, Mang and Giay ethnic groups. 80% of those resettled relied solely on farming for their livelihoods. Their resettlement has been problematic for many reasons, including due to the very limited availability of arable land and the lack of consultation in the process. Furthermore, the resettlement process was rushed and contractors did not have adequate time to prepare the necessary infrastructure in the resettlement sites prior to people moving in. Other problems arose because many of the resettled households were moved into host communities who had to give up some of their own land to make room for the resettled people. (2) (6) (7) (8) (13) (14)<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Son La Hydropower Dam, Vietnam</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/vietnam">Vietnam</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Muong La District, Son La Province</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>It Ong</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>LOW country/state level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Water Management</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Aquaculture and fisheries<br /> Dams and water distribution conflicts<br /> Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)<br /> Deforestation<br /> Water treatment and access to sanitation (access to sewage)<br /> Water access rights and entitlements</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/electricity'>Electricity</a><br /><a href='/commodity/water'>Water</a><br />Irrigation</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns">The plant capacity is 2400 MW and can generate approximately 9,000GW of power annually. </td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>23,330</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td>3,200,000,000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Rural</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>100,000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/electricity-of-vietnam'>Electricity of Vietnam</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/vietnam'><small>Vietnam</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Association, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Industry and Trade</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">International and Financial Institutions</td><td><a href='/institution/asian-development-bank'>Asian Development Bank <small>(ADB)</small></a> from <a href='/country-of-institution/philippines'><small>Philippines</small></a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>LATENT (no visible resistance)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>International ejos<br /> Local ejos<br /> Local scientists/professionals<br /> International scientists/professionals</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)<br /> Creation of alternative reports/knowledge<br /> Involvement of national and international NGOs</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow)<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Malnutrition, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Violations of human rights</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Compensation<br /> Institutional changes<br /> Migration/displacement</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>No</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>There were no opportunities for public participation throughout the project. The project was sped up by two years and no public hearings were scheduled for local input and people were told to resettle sooner. Despite the considerable amount of opposition, in particular from international actors when the World Bank and ADB were considering funding the project (and then subsequently withdrew), the Vietnamese government proceeded with the project citing “national interest”. Also, despite Vietnamese laws and policies in principle protecting the local people, they were rarely considered and were generally overlooked. (7) (8) (11)</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Legislations</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Land Law 1993<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Law on Environmental Protection (1993), revised in 2005<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Civil Code (1995)<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Law on Water Resources (1998)<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Revised Land Law (2003)<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Decree 22/1998/ND-CP<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Decision No. 196/2004/QD-TTg<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Decision No. 459/QD-TTg<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Decision No. 02/2007/QD-TTG<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Resolution No. 44/2001/QH10<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Resolution No. 13/2002<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Decree No. 69/2009/QD-TTg<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">References</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Shestopalov, Pavel V., & Volynchikov, Alexander N. (2013). “Challenges Overcome in Designing and Building Son La Dam in Vietnam”. HRW-Hydro Review Worldwide. Vol. 21 Issue 1<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Cao Thi Thu Yen (2003). “Towards Sustainability of Vietnam’s Large Dams: Resettlement in Hydropower Projects”. Master of Science Thesis, Department of Infrastructure, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Dang Quang Tinh (n.d.). “Participatory Planning and Management for Flood Mitigation and Preparedness and Trends in the Red River Basin, Viet Nam”. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Doberstein, Brent (2003). “EIA models and capacity building in Viet Nam: an analysis of development aid programs”. Environmental Impact Assessment Review. Elsevier Inc. 24(2004) 283-318<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Long, Le Thanh (2001). “Vietnamese Water Resources Legislation and Legal Regulation of Dams: Viewed Through the World Commission on Dams’ Suggested Policy Framework”. American University International Law Review. Vol. 16, Issue 6, Article 9, pp 1631-1694<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Nga Dao (2011) “Damming Rivers in Vietnam: A Lesson Learned in the Tay Bac Region”. Journal of Vietnamese Studies, Vol. 6, Issue 2, pp 106-140.<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Nga Dao (2010) “Dam Development in Vietnam: The Evolution of Dam-Induced Resettlement Policy” Water Alternatives, Vol. 3, Issue 2, pp 324-340<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Nga Dao Thi Viet (2012) “Resettlement, Displacement and Agrarian Change in Northern Uplands of Vietnam”. PhD Dissertation Graduate Program in Geography. York University. Toronto, Ontario.<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Nguyen, Ang Tuan (2012). “A Case Study on Power Sector Restructuring in Vietnam”. Pacific Energy Summit. Hanoi, Vietnam<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Nguyen, Quang Tuyen (2010). “Land Law Reforms in Vietnam – Past & Present”. Working Paper Series No. 015. Asian Law Institute.<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Pham, Anh Huyen (2010). “Evaluation of Socio-Economic Impact Assessment in Power Sector Projects in Vietnam”. School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich. Masters Dissertation.<br/></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Tran Van Ha (2011). “Local People’s Participation in Involuntary Resettlement in Vietnam: A Case Study of the Son La Hydropower Project” ch.3 edited by Kate Lazarus, Bernadette P. Resurreccion, Nga Dao, Nathan Badenoch (2011) “Water Rights and Social Justice in the Mekong Region”.<br/></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Ngan Ha (2013). “Son La Hydropower Plant – Project of the Century”. Vietnam News Agency.<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Vietnam Net, “Son La Hydropower Project – project of the century”:<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Media Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> <a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Carl Middleton, Sarah Allen, Matilde Sgotto</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>24/06/2014</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>