Mekong Eye

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Dams

  • “Slow Death” of the Mekong Delta

    06/09/2016

    Kaeng Khut Khu is a village in Loei province, Thailand. This village is located along the Mekong river and fishing is the main income of local people. But in recent years, it’s very difficult for local people go to fishing as the water levels go up and down constantly. Besides, the fish are very small now. There aren’t as many big fish as in the past.

    In addition it is known that this village is also attractive for camping along the Mekong River. But now no tourists want to go there for camping as the water levels of the river could increase suddenly and cause flooding and impacts to tourism development. So now the local people of this village cannot get income from fishing and tourism. They have to find another job such as worker or seller.

  • Mekong dam projects ‘could destroy livelihoods, ecology’

    06/08/2016

    THE ECOLOGY of the Mekong River could be destroyed within 10 years if dam projects along the river are allowed to continue, Thai and Cambodian non-government organisations have warned.

    They have also warned that it will be very difficult for people to claim compensation for projects’ negative impacts on the environment and their livelihoods because it will be not difficult if not impossible to clearly link the effects to a particular dam.

  • The water conflict on the Mekong

    06/08/2016

    Ban Klang is a 400-year old village in Chiang Khan district, Loei province, Thailand. The village, home to more than 1,000 residents, is located next to Loei’s river mouth, connecting the tributary to mainstream of the Mekong River. The village is famous as a peaceful destination for tourists.

    However, upon entering Ban Klang in recent times, visitors are surprised to notice banners hanging in-front of residents’ houses throughout the town, declaring “No Si Song Rak water gate here” and “Ban Klang residents do not need Si Song Rak water gate.” These are just examples of the rising water conflict in the Mekong region.

  • Chinese Delegation Visits Myanmar Locals Displaced by Controversial Dam Project

    06/07/2016

    China’s ambassador to Myanmar met on Friday with residents forced to relocate for the construction of the controversial China-backed Myitsone Dam project in Kachin state in a bid to gain local support for the restart of the project, a local resident and state official said.

    China wants to resume construction of the U.S. $3.6-billion hydropower project, which was temporarily halted by former President Thein Sein in 2011, Ambassador Hong Liang told Kachin Chief Minister Khent Aung and his cabinet during his first visit to the state.

  • Diverting the Mekong River into Thailand: The Khong-Loei-Chi-Mun project

    06/07/2016

    Extensive irrigated agriculture in Northeast Thailand has long been a dream of the Royal Irrigation Department (RID). Over the decades, various visions have been expounded but never fulfilled, including the Green Isan Project in the early 1980s, the Khong-Chi-Mun Project in the late 1980s and 1990s, and the Water Grid Project in the early 2000s. Local communities and civil society have often challenged these projects, questioning the project’s economics and potential environmental and social impacts.

    Recently, the RID has reinvigorated its irrigation plans through the “Mekong-Loei-Chi-Mun River Management and Diversion by Gravity in the Northeast” project. It entails diverting water from the Mekong River’s mainstream into the Loei River in Northeastern Thailand, which would then be connected via tunnels to the Chi and Mun Rivers.

  • Why the Mekong River is Asia’s next big investment locale

    06/04/2016

    Japan recently announced a three-year, $7 billion investment deal to improve the infrastructure of the lower Mekong River region. This deal is a move to offset China’s growing economic influence within the region. Furthermore, because of geopolitical reasons, it will be beneficial to Japanese investors who may be dissuaded from other regions, such as Russia.

  • A Thirsty Mekong Delta

    06/04/2016

    Located at the end of the Mekong River basin, the Mekong Delta in Vietnam is currently experiencing the most severe drought and salinity intrusion in 100 years.

    According to experts, the principal reason is development activities in GMS countries related to the use of the Mekong River’s water resources, including the operation and construction of mega-dams along the river as well as water diversion for agricultural purposes.

  • Mekong dam a threat to rare dolphins – and villagers too

    05/31/2016

    THE DON SAHONG hydroelectric dam threatens the last 80 Irrawaddy dolphins in the Mekong River – as well as the livelihoods of the people downstream in Cambodia, who depend heavily on the river’s resources.

    The people in Preah Romkel village of Stung Treng province claim their way of life is in danger. The eco-tourism that boosts the local economy will be destroyed if the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins are driven into extinction by the impact of the new Don Sahong Dam on the Laos-Cambodian border.

  • Plan continues for waterway transport system and hydropower on Red River

    05/23/2016

    Vietnam’s Ministry of Investment and Planning (MPI) received the requirement for approval the investment project of Xuan Thanh group (Xuan Thien Co Ltd) about the construction the waterway transport system and hydropower on Red River, the North of Vietnam. MPI has informed the Prime Minister and consulted with MONRE about this project as MPI thinks that this project will have potential impacts to environment by dredging the riverbed or process of hydropower construction. But in order to understanding how specific the impacts, its need to conducting the EIA report.

    The Prime Minister has not yet approved this project as its still lack many information and legal documents. Prime Minster assigned MONRE to establish the exploitation master plan of Red River to ensure the sustainable development.

  • Mekong River in danger, but MRC is ‘weak’

    05/23/2016

    Dams and water diversion projects along the Mekong River threaten to overwhelm an ecosystem that supports 60 million people and thousands of species, according to a consensus of scientists, NGOs and governments. But amidst this pending crisis, the main mechanism set up to protect the river is becoming all but irrelevant.

    The Mekong now needs more protection than ever, experts say, but the Mekong River Commission (MRC) – an international body that manages Mekong development and water resource use – has been steadily losing power for years, say current and former employees who spoke on condition of anonymity.

  • Drought: Hydropower’s Achilles Heel

    05/19/2016

    Drought: The news has been full of it.

    Fish are disappearing from markets from Zimbabwe to Vietnam because of it. Kenyan barristas are making “camelcinos” because drought has made cow milk scarce. And in India, men from some villages are even finding it hard to get wives because the water shortage makes them look like a bad bet.

    Across Asia, Africa and Latin America, the rains are not falling – they’re failing.

    But drought is no longer just a concern for farmers; it’s increasingly becoming a major humanitarian and political issue, particularly in hydropower-dependent countries.

  • Mekong Eye News Digest: 18 May 2016

    05/19/2016

    A weekly update of news, commentary and resources on Mekong development projects, investment, EIAs and other development issues. We include a balanced and representative range of news and views from local, regional and global sources. The Digest reaches around 3500 key development professionals, government officials, business leaders and journalists.

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