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.
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.
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The image of fishermen casting fish nets from their small wooden boats while others throwing bits of catfish meat into the river before using small baskets made of bamboo to catch small fish has been a commonplace in Jalai islet in mid Mekong river in Satung Treng province.
Jalai islet is about 25 kms from the lower Sesan II dam. This is the passageway of fish species that swim upstream from Tonle Sap and the lower Mekong river for spawning in the upper Mekong river and its tributaries which include Sekong, Seprok and Sesan which altogether form the Samse river basin.