Khamkeuth District, July 24, 2014

Residents of four villages custom-built by the Theun-Hinboun Power Company (THPC) in Bolikhamxay Province have formally taken ownership of their new houses and community facilities.Handover village

At a ceremony held at Ban Phonthong school on July24, Mr. Somphet Khammany, the District Governor of Khamkeuth and Mr Robert Allen, General Manager of THPC, signed a memorandum acknowledging the official transfer from THPC to the villagers and district of houses, schools, health centres, electricity and water supply systems, roads, irrigation schemes and other community facilities. The total value of the infrastructure is over 109 billion kip (US$14 m).

The people of Nongxong, Sopphouan, Phonthong and Thasala in Khamkeuth District moved to new villages between 2009 and 2012 under the resettlement and relocation programs required for the Theun-Hinboun hydropower expansion project. The expansion, inaugurated in January 2013, more than doubled the electricity generating capacity of THPC to 500 megawatts, enabling the company to significantly increase its contribution to national development.

Around 4,000 people moved from the Nam Gnouang Reservoir area to resettlement villages, including Nongxong, Sopphouan and Phonthong to enable construction of the expansion project. The village of Thasala was relocated from near the Nam Gnouang Dam to the edge of the reservoir, where villagers can take advantage of the fishing potential.

In addition to owning high quality houses in the new villages, and gaining access to greatly improved public services and facilities, the resettled and relocated families can benefit from livelihood programs to help them improve agricultural production or learn new skills for business development.

At the handover ceremony Mr Allen assured villagers that although THPC had transferred ownership of all facilities to the district authority, which would then transfer house and private land ownership to each family, the company remains committed to investing in the communities and some assistance will also be available for road and water supply maintenance.

The THPC social and environmental team works with villagers to help them establish improved livelihoods. In January this year THPC approved over US$50 million for continued programs over the next five years.

Download VientianeTimes

Download KPL news