A news article about Dick de Zeeuw’s work in Laos News Agency:
A Friend of Laos Aids Khamkeuth Villagers
(KPL) The people of Pak Katan village in Khamkeuth District, Bolikhamxay Province, are set to gain a new school in memory of a great friend of Laos, the late Dick de Zeeuw of the Netherlands.
An announcement was made by the Nam Theun 2 Power Company (NTPC) and the World Bank Office in Vientiane that Professor de Zeeuw’s wife, Mrs Atie de Zeeuw, has donated 2,500 (nearly 29 million kip) to development work in Laos in honour of her husband’s work in the country over the last fifteen years.
The money will be used to build the school/community building in Ban Pak Katan, a village included in the development activities of the NTPC Downstream Program. The program’s Khamkeuth District component provides compensation to villages down river of the Nakai Dam in the form of in-kind grants and technical assistance. The people of Ban Pak Katan have also expressed a desire to upgrade their educational facilities, and NTPC invited the de Zeeuw family to partner the company in providing new opportunity to children in the village through the building of a new school.
Professor de Zeeuw, a former Senator, political leader and university president in the Netherlands, died on February 18 2009, following a heart attack sustained while visiting villages in the Nam Theun 2 project area. Appointed leader of the International Advisory Group charged by the President of the World Bank to monitor the hydroelectric project, his task was to ensure that ordinary Lao people were treated justly during its development, and that they received all the benefits they were entitled to, on time and without strings.
His commitment to the people of Laos and the villagers of the Nam Theun area was wholehearted, and he was still walking through the forests and fields of Nakai to talk to people and seek their opinions when he suffered his heart attack, at the age of 84.
His friends and family contributed the money for this donation at a memorial ceremony for the professor, who was known worldwide for academic contributions in agricultural science and policy, and served on numerous advisory panels relating to farming, the environment, science, industry, social justice and human rights.