• Reuters

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The first hydropower dam on the lower Mekong River began commercial operations in Laos on Tuesday amid protests from villagers in Thailand who say the Xayaburi Dam and several others in the works will destroy their livelihoods.

The 1,285-megawatt Xayaburi Dam’s debut coincides with parts of the Mekong drying to a trickle even at the end of the rainy season, though its builders and operators say it is not responsible for the reduced river flow.

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