Activists representing Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam yesterday urged their respective governments to consider the lives of people living around the Mekong River when building infrastructure projects.
With water levels still critical at several dams around Thailand, officials speculate that drought impacts could persist into 2020, possibly having a catastrophic effect on next year’s growing season.
Thailand’s proximity to China and Vietnam, the world’s two primary markets for pangolins, combined with its well-developed transportation infrastructure, have attracted criminal syndicates specializing in illegal wildlife trade to take root here.
The operation of dams along the Mekong River is exacerbating conditions in a particularly dry year and choking off a lifeline for Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
The Ayeyarwady River, dubbed the lifeblood of Myanmar and home to a threatened species of dolphin, is being suffocated by tonnes of plastic. It has been ranked the ninth most polluted river in the world.
There have been many reports about the alarmingly low level of the Mekong this rainy season, both in Laos and in neighbouring countries, but other rivers are also shrinking.
Businesses headquartered in the two districts which discharge more than 1,000 cu.m of waste water were told to install automatic monitoring stations which send data to the department.
Helpless newborns must now clamber over washed-up plastic bottle caps, coffee sachets and food packaging on their hazardous journey down the beach to reach the relative safety of the sea.