Disasters and emergency response

Are China’s dams responsible for droughts along Mekong River?

Chinese dams aren’t the problem causing droughts for downstream nations along the Mekong River – they are part of the solution – says a Chinese study released in July. The study is an attempt to pour water on claims by a rival US-backed investigation that blamed dams ...

Maria Siow

Laos Builds Road and Workers’ Camp for Luangprabang Dam Ahead of Formal Approval

A Thai dam developer has begun clearing land for a large-scale Mekong River dam near the ancient Lao capital Luang Prabang before signing a hydropower sale pact required for approval, raising concerns from downstream communities already hit hard by Laos’ aggressive damming of the vital ...

RFA’s Lao Service. Translated by Max Avary. Written in English by Eugene Whong.

The struggle for the soul of the Mekong River

In June of this year, the FAO’s annual State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture report ranked the Mekong Basin as the world’s most productive freshwater fishery, accounting for over 15% of global annual freshwater fish catch. Meanwhile, WWF Researchers estimate that the contribution actually accounts ...

BRIAN EYLER, ALAN BASIST, COURTNEY WEATHERBY AND CLAUDE WILLIAMS

The covert industry that is destroying the world’s rivers

Good sand is surprisingly hard to find, and some of the best — the kind used to make glass, concrete and even iPhones — is usually found only in riverbeds and along coasts. Now researchers are discovering that a global boom in sand mining is ...

Mekong Delta faces increasing erosion along rivers, canals

The beginning of the rainy season has increased land erosion along rivers and canals in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta. The delta, the country’s largest rice, fruit and seafood producer, has reported a number of cases since May. In past years, landslides would normally occur only during ...

Thailand ranked number one on the Global COVID-19 Recovery Index

Thailand has ranked number one in the world out of 184 countries for its ongoing COVID-19 recovery effort, according to the Global COVID-19 Index (GCI). Published on 28 July, Thailand received an index score of 82.06, putting it on top of the global chart as an ...

Maya Taylor

Drought, Dams on Mekong River Drop Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake to Record Low Levels

Climate change, drought, and upstream dams have led to record low water levels on the Mekong River, according to experts, who say the shortage is significantly harming Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake and the surrounding fishing communities who rely on it to earn a living. The water ...

Reported and translated by Sovannarith Keo. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

Can Vietnam Prevent the Next Pandemic?

A growing awareness of the links between wildlife trafficking and SARS, COVID-19, and other infectious diseases has prompted the Vietnamese prime minister to issue an executive order to clamp down on this vast smuggling trade in endangered species. During recent months, conservation NGOs and Hanoi’s Ministry ...

Tom Fawthrop

A broken dam and broken promises: Laos doubles down on hydropower despite risks

Two years ago this week, a dam in southern Laos collapsed, releasing a flood that displaced over 7,000 people and killed at least 71. When a section of the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy hydropower project broke on July 23, 2018, it sent 500 million cubic meters of ...

All eyes on Chinese dams as Mekong countries count down to the monsoon

Researchers are worried that Chinese dams will hold back much of the water in the Mekong River this year, similar to last year’s erratic flow after the monsoon which exacerbated the drought in the Northeast of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. China’s dams have recently contributed ...

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