Vientiane, November 20, 2013 —Lao PDR and the World Bank Group have been close partners in the development and implementation of the Nam Theun 2 project. Analysis of several rounds of socio-economic monitoring shows that over 97% of households resettled under the Nam Theun 2 project met stringent Household Income Targets specified in the Concession Agreement. Primary school enrolment rates in the resettlement areas went from 31% in 1998 to almost 90% post resettlement. The World Bank continues to work closely with the Government, Nam Theun 2 Power Company and communities affected by the Nam Theun 2 Hydropower project to ensure that project obligations are met and that people in the project area benefit from it.
The World Bank understands that the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has initiated an irrigation project utilizing water discharged from the Nam Theun 2 downstream channel through Gate #3, and has commissioned a feasibility study for the development of further irrigation projects at Gate #1 and Gate #4. According to the Vientiane Times, "the US $31.5 million project has been 95 percent funded by a loan from the Chinese government, with the remaining coming from the Lao Government's joint fund".Norinco International of the People’s Republic of China is undertaking construction.
The World Bank Group would like to take this opportunity to clarify that neither the World Bank Group nor the World Bank-funded Khammouane Development Project (KDP), which is currently financing capacity-building and technical support to provincial authorities related to the development of agricultural livelihoods and basic infrastructure in Khammouane Province, are involved in the irrigation project that is reported to be undertaken by the Government and Norinco International.
Effective irrigation systems will be important to enhance the livelihoods of the villagers of Nhommalath District of Khammouane province. As has been the case for the Nam Theun 2 project as well as the Khammoune Development Project, such investments can achieve their objectives when they are planned and implemented in technically and financially sound as well as socially and environmentally sustainable ways.