The Tourism Minister has called on riverside communities in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces to avoid fishing in areas where dolphins live to attract visitors who want to see the rare creatures. Thong Khon’s call came as the government prepared to open the third annual River Festival in Stung Treng province on March 24. Mr. Khon said the country’s Mekong communities have the potential to build their economies around ecotourism attractions that appeal to both local and foreign visitors, especially in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces, where the river dolphins live. He urged locals to do more to preserve the dolphins’ habitat.
Kampong Chhnang provincial authorities have outlined plans to relocate thousands of families living on the Tonle Sap river in an effort to curb water pollution. Provincial governor Chhour Chan Dern said five floating villages in three different locations along a stretch of the river in his province cause environmental pollution and damaged the river’s ecosystem. “All floating villages have to be relocated to dry land and all permanent settlements built on the water will be banned,” he said. Mr. Chan Dern said provincial authorities would relocate all five of the floating villages, however they are encouraging residents to leave the river voluntarily.
Amid mighty rivers and dense mangroves, the busy floating markets in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta have long shaped the delta’s well-known “water civilization.” As many as a dozen floating markets still remain along major waterways around the delta, where boats, houses, and markets float upon the maze of rivers, canals, and arroyos that crisscross
the landscape like arteries. No one knows exactly how old the delta’s floating markets are, but some historians believe they have flourished since the Nguyen Dynasty in the early 19th century. Since then, they have long been major markets, sustaining thousands of floating lives. In the Vietnamese floating markets, hundreds of boats and sampans, full of fruit and vegetables, flowers, and handicraft products, gather to trade their various goods, making for crowded and frenetic scenery. The bustling commerce of these “floating towns” stands in contrast to the languid and quiet lifestyle in the countryside along the river banks. More importantly, however, the cultural and historical values that the markets reflect are considered a key to understanding the Mekong Delta inhabitants’ identity and traditions.
Many parts of the country are experiencing water shortages, as summer has officially begun, but authorities have said that there is adequate water supply for the current dry season. The Meteorological Department announced recently that summer had begun on March 3. Some areas of the country are facing a water shortage. Water levels at the Lam Takong Dam in Nakhon Ratchasima province were down to 24 per cent of total capacity. However, water experts ruled out the possibility of a severe drought this year, although they cautioned people to use water wisely. Royon Jitdon, director of the Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute, assured that the water supply will be enough for this dry season and there are only some places that will face water scarcity.
Dr Lê Tuấn Anh, deputy director of the Research Institute for Climate Change at Cần Thơ University, speaks to Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn) newspaper about the negative impact of climate change. Do you anticipate that in 2017 the Mekong Delta region will face a drought as severe as last year’s? In my opinion, the weather in the dry season this year will not be as severe as that of last year. Of course, the region will still suffer the problem of fresh water shortage and salt water intrusion because the rainfall last year was low. That’s why right now the local government should seek measures to mitigate the negative impact for farmers. Do you think such natural phenomena have become a natural cycle in the Mekong Delta?
The deaths of two young geologists may have been caused by a fragile layer of rocks in a freshly built tunnel caving in, causing a large rock to fall and crush them, engineers say. The incident in Mae Taeng district occurred as Pratyawat Wasu-anant, 24, and Pathomporn Siriwat, 23, went into tunnel No 6 for a geological inspection Thursday morning. The men worked for Italian-Thai Development Plc. The tunnel near Ban Pasak Ngam in tambon Mae Hoe Phra was being built to divert water into the district's Mae Kuang Dam reservoir.
The growing impact of climate change on the people living in the Mekong river delta is the focus of Singapore-based photographer Oh Soon-Hwa's new solo exhibition. Submerged up to her midriff in the muddy water of a mangrove swamp, Bong is collecting her catch for the day. The sky is overcast, and the Vietnamese shrimp farmer stares into the camera lens with an unreadable expression. Bong is one in a growing number of people living along the Mekong river whose livelihoods are increasingly under threat because of climate change, and whom Korean photographer Oh Soon-Hwa has captured through the photographs in her latest exhibition. Oh Soon-Hwa: Coastal Regions (Delta) captures the sights and sounds of the artist’s trip through the delta regions of Vietnam where she met and documented the lives of the people there.
With a smartphone on hand, HCMC residents can monitor their domestic water use, leakage, and even online payment no matter where they are. A representative of Rynan Technologies introduces the smart water meter at a meeting with HCMC leaders in this ﬁle photo. The above features are built into what is called a “smart water meter” currently in trial use in some households in Go Vap District. The product is developed by Rynan Technologies Joint Stock Company in collaboration with Tan Hoa Water Supply Joint Stock Company. Talking with the Daily on February 13, an executive of Tan Hoa said the smart water meter would be for test use in three months to measure its effectiveness, and any shortcomings will be addressed. Device inspection will be taken, and online payment procedures figured out before the water meter can be widely used.
A new technique that helps improve water drainage in urban areas has been proposed by a Japanese company. The technique will help clean underground pipelines without digging them up, saving energy and cost, and can be applied in emergencies. The technique has been tested at a number of wastewater treatment plants in Hà Nội and the provinces of Quảng Ninh and Hà Nam. Unlike conventional wastewater treatment techniques, it does not require skilled manpower and has been proven to be effective immediately. Kobayashi Noboru, director of the Sekisui Việt Nam Pipe Solutions Company, said on February 14 that the technique can be applied along with conventional wastewater treatment system in Việt Nam in order to improve the quality of the water drainage system.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha may have been wrong when he said his government would clear the waterway for navigation in the Mekong River for the benefit of Thailand, suggesting that nobody should oppose this project. The Mekong runs through six countries in the region and it is not right that one or two be allowed to make a short-sighted decision on what to do with the river. It still remains unclear about who will really benefit from what Prayut is talking about. China uses the Mekong more than other countries in the basin, and the river also runs through several parts of Laos. Therefore, it is not really up to Thailand to make decisions about the river. It is widely known that China opened the waterway in the Mekong River to countries downstream more than two decades ago.