Hieng Chantarasee, a 70-year-old gold panner in Loei province of Thailand, a few kilometres downstream from the proposed Sanakham dam in Laos. Photo: Vijitra Duangdee
Hieng Chantarasee, a 70-year-old gold panner in Loei province of Thailand, a few kilometres downstream from the proposed Sanakham dam in Laos. Photo: Vijitra Duangdee

Thailand’s gold panners blame Mekong dams in China, Laos as fortune dries up

  • ‘I used to find pieces of gold the size of a tamarind seed,’ says Rodjana Thepwong, 64. ‘Now there are only tiny amounts’
  • It is not only gold that is disappearing. Activists say the diets, livelihoods and environment of 60 million people have been jeopardised by the dams, and that effects are getting starker

Hieng Chantarasee, a 70-year-old gold panner in Loei province of Thailand, a few kilometres downstream from the proposed Sanakham dam in Laos. Photo: Vijitra Duangdee
Hieng Chantarasee, a 70-year-old gold panner in Loei province of Thailand, a few kilometres downstream from the proposed Sanakham dam in Laos. Photo: Vijitra Duangdee
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