Cambodia’s Lower Sesan II Hydropower Dam prior to its initial test release

This series of photographs of Lower Sesan II Hydropower Dam in Cambodia’s Stung Treng province were taken on July 14, 2017—the day before its first test run. Groundbreaking began in 2014, but nearly 200 families, remain defiant in their refusal to vacate the area, despite warnings their village could be inundated. Residents want the operator to delay the testing for a period of one month so that they can address the villagers’ demands for compensation and humanitarian assistance from relevant stakeholders.

This 400-megawatt Lower Sesan II Hydropower Dam project is being developed by China’s Hydrolancang International Company and constructed by Cambodia’s Royal Group under a company named Hydro Power Lower Sesan 2 Co., Ltd. The cost of the construction is estimated at around US $870 million and the dam is expected to be completed in December 2018.