Anthropological Reconnaissance in Central Laos: A Survey of Local Communities in A Hydropower Project Area
By Jan Ovesen
This report is the result of a short-term anthropological consultancy which formed part of the feasibility study for the future construction of a dam and hydroelectric power plant in a rather remote area of central Laos. The author concludes that in contrast to (anthropologists’ opinion of) so many other development projects, the present project will have mainly beneficial effects on the local population. In one part of the project area the population pressure and consequent shortening of fallow periods make the continuation of swidden farming progressively less viable. The other part of the area consists of a flat plain where paddy cultivation dominates, and conditions for the further development of wet-rice agriculture are good. It is envisaged that the hydro-power project may directly or indirectly induce many of the swidden agriculturalists to move into the plain and become paddy farmers, which is both economically and ecologically preferable.
White Lotus Press
Size 150 x 210 mm
80 pages, illustrated