Mekong Eye

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Mekong

  • “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.

  • 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.

  • Mekong Drought and Water War

    06/07/2016

    Klang Village is located next to Loei river of Loei province, Thailand. In this area, there will be a project name Kong – Loei- Chi-Mun. This project aims to storage water for Thailand by dredging the Loei River further 5m deeply and spreading 250m wide of Loei estuaries. In addition, around 24 tunnels will be constructed at the bottom of the Loei river so there will more water volume from Mekong river flowing into Loei river, then to Chi and Mun river that help keep water for dry season in Thailand.

    The head of Klang Village, Ms Sorarat Kaeswsa worried that if the river bottom is dredged, then there will be no fish anymore for their livelihoods. For many years their life has been based on this Loei river. The project director with the Thailand irrigation department, Ms Chawee Wongprasittiporn, said that the project will construct 1 to 2 tunnels first to see how water flows from the Mekong River to Loei River. Then they will decide about continuing construction or revising the plan.

  • 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.

  • Mekong Investment Underscores Japan’s Economic Clout in Southeast Asia

    05/23/2016

    Earlier this month, Japan announced a three-year, $7 billion investment deal with the countries of the lower Mekong River to boost development and improve infrastructure. In an email interview, Phuong Nguyen, an associate fellow with the Southeast Asia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, discussed Japan’s relations in Southeast Asia.

  • CK gets B19bn environmental contract for Xayaburi dam

    05/18/2016

    SET-listed Thai construction firm Ch. Karnchang Plc (CK) has secured an additional 19-billion-baht construction contract to optimise the environmental performance of the Xayaburi hydroelectric power plant in Laos.

    Company president Supamas Trivisvavet said the additional construction aimed to fulfill requests by the Mekong River Commission to create an earthquake-resistant structure, navigation log, fish passageway and sediment flushing system.

  • Livelihoods in jeopardy as Vietnam’s Mekong Delta struggles with sediment loss

    05/18/2016

    Duong Cong To checks the water of the Hau River next to his house and he is not happy at all.

    “It’s too clean,” he says.

    The 72-year-old has spent all his life by the river, one of two tributaries of the Mekong and the main source of alluvium for fish farms and plantations in southern Vietnam.

    Over the past years he has noticed a significant change in the river: it keeps changing its color from a reddish brown to an ocean-like blue.

    “The water should look red. Now it’s crystal clear like there’s nothing in there.”

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