Campaign extended! Our deadline has passed but you can still help.
Help fund translation of resettlement documents for affected communities in Laos
$1,982 raised
78% of $2.5k goal
27 contributors
74 Days running

UPDATE: initial goal to fund the Resettlement Action Plan achieved! Let's get the Social Management & Monitoring Plan funded too!


The Pak Lay hydropower dam project in Xayabuli Province, Lao PDR is the latest dam proposed by the Lao Government to be built on the Mekong River mainstream. It's currently being discussed by the Government and the Mekong River Commission. If built, it would require at least 6 villages to resettle to a new location and many others to relocate nearby due to flooding/changed water flow.

Initial planning for the dam started as far back as 2007. Since then, the developer of the dam has done environmental and social impact assessments in accordance with the law. They've produced several plans with proposed measures to deal with the impacts of the dam.

However, those documents are not available in Lao and haven't been shared with the communities affected by the dam. Moreover, all of the communities I spoke with said that they haven't received updates in any form about the dam or their potential resettlement for several years.

The details of how exactly the dam will operate and how it will affect the river and local communities are not yet final, but high-level discussions are nearing completion.

So I'd like to ask for your help getting two key documents from the developer (the Resettlement Action Plan and the Social Management & Monitoring Plan) translated into Lao to share with the affected villages. This will give them more time to prepare and give local leaders a baseline understanding of what the developer proposed so that they can know what conclusions changed as a result of the discussions.

Professional translation for the Resettlement Action Plan (31,000 words at a rate of $18/350 words) would cost around $1,600. Adding that to other (important but less critical) documents like the Social Management & Monitoring Plan ($950), the Health Impact Assessment ($820), and the Social Impact Assessment ($1,700) would bring the total to $5,000+.

[check out a more detailed spreadsheet here]

If you have the means, please consider contributing to my fund to get the documents translated. Let's start with the Resettlement Action Plan (~$1,600) and the Social Management & Monitoring Plan (~$950) and go from there!

Please feel free to send me any comments/questions, share this campaign, and click on any of the links above to learn more about Pak Lay and your global neighbors here in Laos.


***some key notes***

  • I heard these statements from several Village Development Committees after obtaining official clearance to speak with them. I made the offer to get the docs translated while under government supervision and can deliver them with government approval
  • Not throwing shade or casting blame on anyone -- just reporting that the communities I spoke with wanted the key documents in Lao and that crowdfunding can help make that happen
  • This campaign only reflects my own thoughts+goals and not those of the Fulbright program, the US Department of State, or any others :)
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