In the Shadow of Riches, Fishers Face Eviction, Desperately Low Waters

Yan Khouvry was out fishing till 7 a.m. on Tuesday morning. He had set out late morning on Monday and plied the waters near Koh Dach all day and night.

He returned with just two fish. Later on Tuesday morning, around 10 a.m., he was preparing to do it all over again.

“It’s very difficult. Every day, it’s difficult,” Khouvry says. “It’s nearly October — look at the water.”

This week, the Mekong River was measured at 4 meters deep at Phnom Penh’s Chaktomuk. The recorded average for this time of year is 9 meters. In 1998, when the Water Ministry recorded the previous low peak, it was 7.4 meters.

“The lower the water, the less fish we have,” Khouvry says. “We eat in the mornings, but not in the evenings.”

Keep reading

Mech Dara and Michael Dickison