News

Troubles on the Mekong

On October 29, Laos unveiled a new dam in the country’s north. The 1.3-gigawatt Xayaburi dam sits on the Mekong River, which flows the length of the country. Laos plans to build nearly a hundred like it by 2020—many with direct funding and support from ...

Sam Geall

Mekong Delta shifts strategy, takes advantage of benefits of flooding

In the past, Mekong Delta residents, striving to produce as much rice as possible, built closed embankments to prevent floods and cultivate third crops. But now they need floods to preserve water to fight drought and saline intrusion. Le Anh Tuan, deputy head of the Climate ...

Bad weather threatens to put a damper on sugar harvest

Unfavourable weather has delayed Thailand’s sugar crushing season, threatening a reduction in sugar output for the 2016/17 crop. The drop will prevent Thailand, the world’s second largest sugar exporter, from capitalising on rising global sugar prices at a time it is being challenged by Brazil ...

Mekong delta prepares for dry season

Many provinces in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta are taking measures to secure freshwater for farming and household use since drought and saltwater intrusion is expected to be severe in the 2016-17 dry season.  Nguyễn Thiện Pháp, head of the Tiền Giang Province Irrigation Sub-department, ...

Carrying a stranger’s child through an uncertain time

Ly Raksmey left her home in the heart of the country’s rice bowl in January and headed to a hospital on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. The 34-year-old stayed there several nights, in a facility that was better and cleaner than any hospital she had ...

Rain, flooding expected to hit Vietnam coffee belt

Torrential rain is forecast to continue in Vietnam’s biggest coffee growing provinces in coming days, government reports said on November 4, potentially further disrupting harvesting of the 2016/2017 crop. That has been stoking worries about supply from the world’s top producer of the robusta variety ...

Experts warn Mekong Delta agriculture, livelihoods face serious threats

Even though the latest El Niño wound down in Vietnam in September, it left in its wake diminished water supplies, risks to people’s health and food security, and a loss of livelihoods. The effects of the severe drought that the El Niño weather phenomenon—exacerbated by climate change—delivered ...

Mother Nature and a hydropower onslaught aren’t the Mekong Delta’s only problems

Early this year, many Mekong Delta farmers fought a losing battle against an epic drought, the worst since 1926. Was the drought a harbinger of climate change? Perhaps it was, but more certainly it was an artifact of El Niño. The same ocean-warming phenomenon that ...

An elemental difference has developed among those concerned for wetland conservation

If this year’s severe drought returns next dry season, Uncle Wai Rodtayoy and other salt farmers in tambon Koek Kharm of Samut Sakhon, known as the country’s largest sea-salt-farming area, will see mounting debts. The price of salt this year bottomed at 450 baht per ...

Drought devastates local shrimp industry

This year’s prolonged drought and saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta has destroyed more than 81,000 hectares of prime shrimp breeding areas in eight provinces, says the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Shrimp farmers in Ca Mau Province in the very south of the country, ...

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