The mighty mekong River, as the world knows it, may never be the same again if the Lao government has its way. There is a growing fear that up to 40 million people could be affected if the Xayaburi Dam and 12 other mainstream dams on the mekong are to go ahead as planned. The Xayaburi Dam would be the first dam to be built on the lower mekong mainstream. It would displace thousands of people in Laos, disrupt an important fish migration route and cause the extinction of the critically endangered mekong giant catfish, by destroying one of its last natural spawning habitats. The dam is being proposed by Thai company Ch. Karnchang, and over 95 per cent of the power generated would be sold to Egat, the Thai electricity utility.