Mekong Utility Watch

World Bank Report Says Pak Mun Villagers Complain Too Much

Probe International Mekong Press Backgrounder #12

September 17, 1998

World Bank Report Says Pak Mun Villagers Complain Too Much

Four years after the World Bank-financed Pak Mun dam in Thailand began operating, the World Bank has released a report admitting that compensation for lost fishing income and resettlement planning was poorly handled and inadequate. But the report, prepared by Warren Van Wicklin III of the World Bank’s operations evaluation department, also says that the people who were compensated complain too much.

“There is such a culture of complaint, of trying to win sympathy for even greater compensation claims and assistance, that it is difficult to get affected people to be balanced about their resettlement experience,” writes Wicklin.

Meanwhile, only half the claims for fisheries compensation have been settled. About 3,000 households received US$1,200 each, the cash equivalent of one year’s fishing income, regardless of whether they fished part time for their own consumption or earned most of their living from fishing. Twice that amount for each household was deposited in government-run cooperatives, even though villagers had demanded the entire payment in cash.

Categories: Mekong Utility Watch

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