Laos. At the end of October, power began to be delivered from the Xayaburi power plant project, one of five planned major power plants in the Mekong River in Laos. The Thai-owned power plant, which cost $ 4.4 billion, began to be built in 2012. As a result of drought and other dam construction, the flow of the Mekong River decreased sharply downstream.
Laos plans to expand hydropower and become Southeast Asia’s “battery” and export electric power to neighboring China, Thailand and Vietnam. Environmental organizations warn of the investments, which risk knocking out fisheries and ecosystems, while large population groups are forced to relocate.
Agriculture and development expert Sombath Somphone’s fate remained unknown. He disappeared in December 2012. He had questioned the dust projects and the acquisition of poor farmers’ land.
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Floods caused by the monsoon rains and a severe tropical storm in September affected over half a million people in southern Laos. At least 20 fatalities were reported. High water levels made it difficult to get emergency relief.
According to CountryAAH, the population of Laos in 2019 was 7,169,344, ranking number 105 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.530% yearly, and the population density was 31.0635 people per km2.