Hydropower development and local livelihood adaptation: a longitudinal case study in Lao PDR


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Olivier Joffre from WorldFish presents on hydropower development in Lao PDR (Mekong Basin) and how that is affecting local livelihoods and adaptation. Find out more about what WLE/CPWF is doing in the Mekong: http://bit.ly/SzaOGi

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  • The map shows the entire catchment of the Mekong sub-basins in Lao, where the case study was conducted.
  • Before relocation, the river and springs were the main source of water supply, in both dry and rainy season. After relocation, households were given access to private and public wells – albeit not free access. In the dry season, public and private wells provide almost all water supply – almost equally so . In Phonkeo, Sensi and Thambing, private and public wells are the only source of water.In the rain season, rain  and spring water constitute the bulk of the water supply.Time saved from not having to collect water from river is significant after resettlement
  • Hydropower development and local livelihood adaptation: a longitudinal case study in Lao PDR

    1. 1. Hydropower development and local livelihood adaptation: a longitudinal case study in Lao PDR Olivier Joffre and Yumiko Kura Resilience 2014, Montpellier 8th Mai 2014
    2. 2. Water Resource Development in the Lower Mekong Basin • Trans-boundary river system over the territories of six countries: Myanmar, Cambodia, China (Yunnan Province), Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam • Rapid increase in hydropower dams: at least 110 existing or planned, 22 operational or under construction in Lao PDR alone. • Negative impacts predicted on the world’s largest wild freshwater fishery (2.1 million metric tons/year, 5 times the production of entire West Europe) • About 40 million rural people (2/3 of population in LMB) derive livelihood benefits from capture fisheries
    3. 3. 3 T-H Extension Project NG Reservoir and resettlement villages Case Study in Lao PDR – Upstream Site • 180 Households from 4 villages upstream of the dam were resettled to a single site near the new reservoir
    4. 4. Objectives of the Case Study • To understand how local communities use the river water, river ecosystems and later reservoir ecosystem • To assess the economic importance of the river and reservoir for local livelihood and income • To compare water use patterns and economic values before and after the resettlement
    5. 5. FGDs and Stakeholder Consultation Upstream HH survey in 4 villages Before Resettlement 100 HH April 2011 Sept. 2012 Upstream HH survey in 4 villages After Resettlement 100 HH Validation Workshop May 2013Feb 2011 Resettlement of 180 HH Longitudinal Survey 2011-2013 Upstream HH survey in 4 villages > 2 Year After Resettlement December 2013
    6. 6. % Households Considering Nam Gnouang River/Reservoir as “Important” or “Very Important” For Before Resettlement After Resettlement YEAR 1 After Resettlement YEAR 2 Alternatives at Resettlement Site (provided by the power company) Drinking 44 - - Public and private wells Bathing 74 - 11 Public and private wells Washing 76 - 11 Public and private wells Irrigation (e.g. river bank garden) 36 - 1 Homestead garden irrigated with water from wells Fishing 98 99 75 Reservoir Livestock watering 55 25 26 Reservoir, wells Transportation 91 4 66 Road access Transporting goods 16 - - Road access Micro-hydropower 25 - - Public power grid Village events and festivals (e.g. wedding) 68 - 61 Public and private wells Rituals (e.g. funeral) 32 - 4 Public and private wells Use of Nam Gnouang Reservoir is less diverse compared to the use of Nam Gnouang River before resettlement
    7. 7. Water supply significantly improved River 54% Spring 44% Tap 2% Dry Season River 36% Spring 50% Rain and river 5% Rain and spring 7% Tap 2% Rain Season Before Resettlement After Resettlement 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 Waterconsumption(l/day/HH) Water Consumption per Household Dry season Rainy season
    8. 8. Significant reduction and shift in income portfolio - 5.00 10.00 15.00 20.00 25.00 30.00 35.00 40.00 Before After 1 Year After 2 Year Income(MKip/year/HH) Change of Household Income Remittances Livestock Non/Off-farm TFP/NTFP Fisheries Agriculture Compensation from company - Food -Agriculture inputs - Cash Compensa tion from company Year 1 Average household income fell by approximately 72%, primarily due to the significant reduction in agriculture- related income, not yet fully re- established Fisheries became the biggest contributor to household income, due to reduction in income from agriculture Year 2 Overall income recovered– reaching 50% of the income before resettlement. Agriculture income is the most important Income from fisheries fell compare to Year 1, and less households were engaged in fishing Non-farm wages, remittances and trading large livestock generated higher share of income 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 Before resettlement After 1 Year After 2 Year Income(M.Kip/HH/year) River / Reservoir-based household income Non Farm Irrigated Agriculture Forestry Fisheries
    9. 9. Fisheries important during transition, but declining• Year 1 - 71% of resettled households reported increase in fishing activities, while 11% reported reduction in fishing activity after resettlement • Fish catch is distributed more evenly throughout the year, no seasonal peaks • Average household fish catch decreased significantly between Year 1 and Year 2 • Some households have quit fishing: - 100% of households engaged in fishing before resettlement - 95% in Year 1 after resettlement - only 75% in Year 2 0 50 100 150 200 250 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Kg Average monthly fish catch per household Before After 1 Year After 2 Year
    10. 10. Households strategies for adaptation • Location and distance are important factors determining household strategy • After 1 year, some households negotiated house swaps to stay closer to original upland rice fields • Households located closer to the reservoir invested more in fishing while households farther away stopped fishing and focused on NTFP and agriculture • Large livestock decreased by 50% due to lack of grazing land near the resettlement site but households whose original grazing land is closer were able to keep more animals • With better road access, more households are involved in non-farm wage labor and trading 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 MillionKip/HH/year Change in River Related Income Portfolio - Before & 1 year After Resettlement Non Farm Irrigated Agriculture Forestry Fisheries CLOSE MEDIUM FAR
    11. 11. Conclusions • Domestic water access has dramatically improved and made more time available for income generation through other activities • During the transition period, resettled households rely more on natural resources - important to ensure their access to fisheries resources and forests • Reservoir fisheries need to be sustained as it has become the most important local use of the reservoir and the main source of income for some households • Need to consider the differences within the resettlement village in terms of access to reservoir, forest and grazing land while designing resettlement villages
    12. 12. Thank you! o.joffre@cgiar.org y.kura@cgiar.org