UN Expert: Outlook Grim for Victims of Laos Dam Collapse

UN Expert: Outlook Grim for Victims of Laos Dam Collapse

A U.N. expert on human rights says hundreds of people displaced by the collapse of a dam in Laos are facing bleak prospects for recovering their homes and livelihoods.

BANGKOK — A U.N. expert on human rights says hundreds of people displaced by the collapse of a dam in Laos face bleak prospects for recovering their homes and livelihoods.

Philip Alston, the U.N. rapporteur on poverty, said Friday in an interview that questions over who’s responsible for the collapse of the dam in southeastern Laos are slowing progress toward recovery.

At least 40 people died and dozens went missing when an auxiliary dam of the joint venture hydroelectric project gave way on July 25.

Alston said conditions in at least two temporary resettlement villages were “really grim” and the land authorities are offering the 3,750 people still in limbo is rocky and infertile. Many victims who once supported their families by fishing and farming likely will be forced into contract labor.

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