Mekong Eye

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


    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.

  • A request to China to regulate the water flow from upstream Mekong river


    Mekong Delta Region (MDR) is the largest rice field of Vietnam now facing the serious drought and water shortage. There are 7 provinces in Mekong Delta region is damaged by salinization. The cause of this situation is the depletion of water supplies by the Mekong River. In order to dealing with this situation, in Hanoi 3 March, 2016, Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister has a working session with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), the Mekong River Commission of Vietnam on research impact of hydropower projects on the Mekong mainstream.

  • China releasing water to drought-stricken Mekong River countries


    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.

  • POLICY BRIEF: Women’s participation in EIAs in Vietnam: what are the benefits?


    Center for Environment and Community Research (CECR) conducted policy research to investigate the nature, extent, constraints and outcomes of women’s participation in two development project sites in Vietnam. These project sites were the Trung Son Hydropower Project funded by the World Bank and the Phu Hoa Landfill Project supported by the Asian Development Bank. Both projects have undergone EIA processes.

  • Is Hanoi more polluted than Beijing?

    03/13/2016, the website which provides real-time figures about the air pollution levels in cities all over the world, showed that the PM2.5 Index (the fine dust particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter) in the air in Hanoi in the last two days reached 388 microgram per cubic meter at maximum and 114 microgram per cubic meter at minimum.

    Vietnam’s PM2.5 national standard is 50 microgram per cubic meter. Meanwhile, the level recommended by WHO is 25 micrograms.

    This means that the dust concentration in the air in Hanoi in the last days was higher than the allowed level by 2-8 times.

  • Sea dykes collapse in Mekong provinces


    Several sea dyke sections in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces of Bac Lieu and Soc Trang have collapsed because of high tides and strong waves.

    In Bac Lieu Province, water broke through several sections of Ganh Hao Sea Dyke in Dong Hai District early last month, causing sea water to flow into residential areas.

    Nguyen Van Be, who has lived near the dyke for 40 years, said he had never seen such strong waves.

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


    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.

  • Road building threatening special-use forests


    In Thua Thien-Hue province, the companies belonging to the Ministry of Transport are speeding up the clearing of 49 hectares of forest in the core area of the Bach Ma National Park to make room for a highway.

    A 4-lane road that links Thua Thien-Hue and Da Nang City will ‘slice’ through the park.

    In late 2015, local newspapers reported that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) gave a license to build a road through the Cat Tien National Park.


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