Members of a large fishing community in Naxab village, Naxaithong district, Vientiane, are appealing to authorities to address the problem of farms dumping animal waste in the Khon River, which they say is creating a threat to fishing.
The polluted river affects some 1,648 people who depend on fishing for their livelihood and also poses a threat to fish species.
Village representatives say the bad smells began in 2019 but have got worse this year.
There are pig and chicken farms by the river, whose owners dispose of waste directly into the river without prior treatment, they claim.
“As can be seen, the river is very dirty compared to five years ago. Wherever you go, it smells bad,” one villager said.
Another resident said “If we liken the river to a human being, it’s like an artery and is essential for fishing and the life of our community.”
The Khon River has provided food as well as a source of income for local people for many generations. The river not only supports the local fishing community but is also used by thousands of people who come from nearby villages to fish.