Vietnam can do little about China’s dams, its Mekong Delta Plan includes ending sand mining, restoring mangroves, and reducing shrimp farm expansion in the wetlands to staunch erosion and subsidence.
China’s rise as the country’s leading lender has been fueled by billions of dollars to finance a building spree of megaprojects, spanning large hydropower dams and economic zones to a flagship high-speed railway.
The radical experiment of just 75 households proves that reserves work in freshwater environments too.
The Mekong Delta – Vietnam’s largest rice, fruit, and seafood producer – has faced severe saltwater intrusion during recent dry seasons.
The deputy governor of Loei Province, which is immediately downstream of the site, has voiced local concerns that the impact of the dam could be even more significant than that already felt by the Xayaburi dam, despite it being considerably further upstream.
But the current direction of development shows that regional decision-makers do not acknowledge the broader value of the river, ignoring other users of this shared resource.
It is commonly found in the Mekong basin in southern Cambodia and Vietnam as well as in Western Indo Pacific, he added.
It would combine with a coastal dam in the region to combat climate change, rising sea levels and flooding, as well as help develop infrastructure for road transport.
Several major transport projects that have been completed will ease traffic overload on many of the Mekong Delta’s roads and bridges during the Lunar New Year.