The Korean Civil Society TF sent a public inquiry to SK Engineering and Construction and the Korean government on August 27th in response to the dam collapse accident in Laos XePian-XeNamnoy.
The civil society TF, composed of eight civic groups, pointed out that SK E&C’s and the Korea Western Power had different explanations on the cause of the accident. A questionnaire was sent to SK E&C based on SK E&C claiming that the accident happened due to heavy rain and were also asked about SK E&C’s position on the possibility of poor construction of Laos government.
In addition, the civil society TF asked for the maximum amount of rainfall that SK E&C had found at the design stage, and asked for the disclosure of the measures taken by SK E&C.
Furthermore, the civil society TF inquired whether SK E&C plans to conduct an independent investigation of the facts, whether the damage situation of the residents of Cambodia is grasped, and whether it plans to restore and reconstruct the damaged area.
The civil society TF also said that the XePian-XeNamnoy Dam project was the first public-private partnership project (PPP) funded by the Korea Export-Import Bank Foreign Economic Cooperation Fund (EDCF), which amounted to 80.1 million dollars. Thousands of local residents have lost their livelihood in ODA project, which was created with the aim of eradicating poverty and realizing humanitarianism in the developing world.
The civil society TF contacted the Ministry of Strategy and Finance and the Export-Import Bank of Korea immediately after the accident to inquire about their plans and measures taken and also about the measures to prevent the recurrence of the PPP.
In addition, the civil society TF questioned whether the government should implement all of the policy measures or disclose relevant information such as the project feasibility report and environmental social impact assessment.
Moreover, during the approval process of the project, the Export-Import Bank of Korea will take measures to prepare for involuntary migration to PNPC, a joint venture with the Laos government, and also question why the Export-Import Bank of Korea approved the environmental and social impact assessment despite withdrawal from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
“We will continue to monitor the Laos XePean-XeNamnoy Dam accident investigation to ensure transparency and accuracy, and we will continue to improve related systems to prevent any recurrence,” said the civil society TF.