Mekong Eye

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Dams

  • Vietnam’s Mekong Delta hit by worst drought in years

    03/21/2016

    THE southern tip of Mekong Delta in Vietnam in the country’s prime fertile rice-growing region has been hit by the worst drought the country has seen in recent years.

    Accompanied by a saline intrusion, the drought is reported to have affected over a million people who face water shortages in the region.

    This has spurred China to dispense twice the amount of water from a hydropower station to aid the situation.

    Officials blamed the drought on the El Nino weather phenomenon and excessive construction of hydropower dams on the upper stream of the river, the Associated Press reported.

    Yesterday, director of the department at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Ma Quang Trung was quoted as saying the level of inland saline intrusion was unprecedented, resulting in damage to some 180,000 hectares (444,780 acres) of paddy fields.

  • Blocking the Flow: Cambodia’s Sesan II Dam

    03/18/2016

    In Cambodia’s far north, the Mekong is under threat from one of the most controversial environmental project in the country. Luc Forsyth and Gareth Bright are on a journey to follow the Mekong River from sea to source, fully immersing themselves in the adventure of exploring one of the world’s most famous rivers. Over the coming months, The Diplomat will share some of the stories they’ve found along the river.

  • Groups to hold ‘day of action’ to protest Salween dams

    03/17/2016

    Last weekend thousands of people are expected to assemble on the banks of the Thanlwin or Salween River for a special event to remind the new government and foreign investors that ethnic people stand in solidarity to defend their river and their democratic and human rights against a series of dams that threaten their livelihoods, cultural sites, and homes.

  • China releasing water to drought-stricken Mekong River countries

    03/16/2016

    China will discharge water from a dam to the lower reaches of the Mekong River to alleviate drought in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

    “We will release emergency water supply from Jinghong Hydropower Station from May 15 till April 10,” the ministry’s spokesperson Lu Kang said at a regular news briefing.

    Vietnam has asked China to discharge more water from the hydropower station in southwest China’s Yunnan Province to help overcome drought on the Mekong Delta.

    Mekong River originates in China and runs through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is known as Lancang in the Chinese stretch.

    China and the five countries along the Mekong are friendly neighbors and assistance like this is natural, Lu said.

  • Current Status of Dam Projects on the Salween River

    03/14/2016

    Much of the mighty Salween River continues to flow freely. Beginning in the Tibetan Himalayan Mountain Range, the river meanders through China’s Yunnan Province where it runs parallel to the Mekong and Yangtze Rivers, forming the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It then flows across the Burma (Myanmar) border into Shan State, and on into Kayah (Karenni) State, forming the border between Burma, in Karen State, and Thailand, in the Mae Sariang and Sob Moei Districts of Mae Hong Son, before flowing into Mon State and emptying into the sea at Moulmein. The entire length of the river is 2,800 kilometers.

    The Salween River is home to a large number of diverse ethnic groups and is a rich hub of natural resources. It is a highly complex ecosystem, teeming with life. Unlike other major rivers around the world, the Salween remains largely untouched by man-made developments.

  • New president must heed public on Myitsone Dam: Kachin party

    03/13/2016

    The new president must listen to the voice of the people, who do not agree to the resumption of the Myitsone Dam project, said Kachin State Democracy Party chairman Dr Manam Tu Ja on March 7.

    His spoke in response to news that China is seeking to find ways to resume the project.

    He said the resumption of Myitsone project must depend on the desires of the people.

  • More Families Take Deals to Vacate Dam Site

    03/09/2016

    Another 73 families in Stung Treng province have accepted the government’s offer of new land in exchange for the farms they will lose to the Lower Sesan II hydropower dam currently under construction, the second group to take the deal.

    Seventy families accepted the land swap in May to make way for the 400-megawatt dam being built in a joint venture between the Royal Group and China’s Hydrolancang International Energy across the Sesan and Srepok rivers, both tributaries of the Mekong.

  • PM urged to give nod to Mae Wong Dam

    03/08/2016

    Thailand Prime Minister urged to reconsider building the Mae Wong Dam — and lease land to local people to dig reservoirs to fight the serious drought. It is estimated that water in Ubonrat Dam in Khon Kaen province will last for only another 40 days, The irrigation chief says dam would help thousands.

  • Hydropower dams cause VND5,194,153m in damages to Mekong Delta

    03/07/2016

    Mainstream hydropower projects on the Mekong River caused a loss of VND5,200 billion (USVND5,194,153 million) in seafood and agriculture output to the Mekong Delta, said former Deputy Chairman of National Committee of Science and Technology, Nguyen Ngoc Tran.

    The announcement came at a conference on the impact of mainstream hydropower projects on the Mekong River held by Can Tho University’s Research Institute for Climate Change yesterday.

    The construction of eleven mainstream hydropower dams caused landslides, ecological imbalance as well adversely impacting local farmers and fishermen in the lower Mekong River region, said Tran.

  • Dam Building on Lower Mekong Accelerating, Threatening Path of Destruction

    03/06/2016

    This week the hydro-power industry gathered in Vientiane, Laos to attend the International Conference and Exhibition on Water Resources and Hydro-power Development in Asia.

    The conference comes at a time when the pace of dam building on the lower Mekong River mainstream appears to be accelerating at a dangerous speed, and it threatens to leave a path of destruction in its wake.

  • Environmental Campaigner Convicted of Forestry Crime

    03/04/2016

    A prominent anti-dam activist in Koh Kong province who has been jailed since October was convicted Thursday of illegal logging and given a suspended prison sentence, allowing him to walk free but leaving the shadow of a criminal conviction hanging over him.

    The decision marked the first conviction of an activist affiliated with the group Mother Nature, which has been a thorn in the side of the government for the past two years due to its provocative and eye-catching protests against the impending construction of a hydropower dam in Koh Kong’s Areng Valley.

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