Runoff From Railway Project Pollutes River in Lao Tourist Destination

The Lao-Chinese railway project has released polluted water from construction work into the Xong River in Vientiane province’s Vang Vieng district, one of the most popular destinations in the country for tourists, an local resident and an environmental official told RFA’s Lao Service.

Workers allowed polluted runoff from a tunnel construction site along the railway to flow into the river for two to three months after the work had been completed in Vang Vieng, located about 150 kilometers (93 miles) north of the capital Vientiane, said one district resident who declined to give his name out of fear of retribution.

“We have seen the railway project releasing the polluted water to the river, so people do not want to bath in the river,” he said, calling on relevant officials to take samples of the muddy water to test it for possible contamination.

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