A Change of Guard

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Monday, 11 April 2016

Mekong Drought Worsens Amid Doubts Over Lao Promises


Mekong Drought Worsens Amid Doubts Over Lao Promises
22 March 2016
Luke Hunt
VOA News


FILE - Cambodian farmers plant rice on the dry earth in the rice paddy on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
FILE - Cambodian farmers plant rice on the dry earth in the rice paddy on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.


Up to 70 million people live a hand-to-mouth existence along the banks of the Mekong River, including many indigenous tribes.


PHNOM PENH — 
Drought in Southeast Asia is raising concerns in the Cambodian and Vietnamese countryside where salinity levels are rising in the Mekong River and people are skeptical about fresh promises from Laos that it will respect the rights of downstream countries in dam construction.

The reassurances from Vientiane were delivered by Bounhang Vorachith, who was recently named secretary-general of the Laos Communist Party, sparking hopes he might show a more conciliatory approach to negotiations with countries who share use of the Mekong River.

“Laos will make an effort to ensure that there will be no impact,” Bounhang recently told the Cambodia government in regards to Vientaine’s plans to build 11 dams along the Mekong River and their impact on neighboring countries.



He also reminded Prime Minister Hun Sen that Laos had studied the potential impact of the dams and promised to limit the impact of the controversial Don Sahong hydropower dam, The Phnom Penh Post reported, to be built just north of the Cambodian border.

FILE - Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia listens to U.S. President Barack Obama speak during a 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Rancho Mirage, California, Feb. 15, 2016.
FILE - Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia listens to U.S. President Barack Obama speak during a 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Rancho Mirage, California, Feb. 15, 2016.


But his promises rang hollow among those who depend most on the Mekong River where low water levels caused by a severe drought have been blamed on climate change, clearing of rain forests for industrial use and upstream dams, mainly in China.

Up to 70 million people live a hand-to-mouth existence along the banks of the Mekong River, including indigenous tribes such as the Jarai, Kraol, Phnong, Ro Oung, Stieng, Su, Oey, Kreung and Tampuan.

Samin Ngach, a spokesman for the Cambodia Indigenous Youth Association, said food and fresh water supplies were in tight demand following weak rice harvests caused by a lack of rain during the last wet season.

“The indigenous community, they could not plant rice. Finally they have no food to eat,” Ngach said. “The forest also needs water and also the animals as well they also need the water. It's difficult for people.”

He said the ability of regional authorities to cope with the drought is also a concern. This was highlighted by a decision in Thailand last month to divert the Mekong River into drought-stricken areas, causing concern in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Hanoi pressed Bangkok to use the Mekong River Commission (MRC) for resolving such issues before they escalate in the future. The MRC, however, has suffered large funding cuts from international donors who are upset with the commission and allegations of mismanagement and corruption.

FILE - A fisherman casts his fishing net next to a ferry in the Mekong river near Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015.
FILE - A fisherman casts his fishing net next to a ferry in the Mekong river near Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015.


“That's the main source of fresh water fish for Cambodians, that's certainly significant. I think climate change could be felt now,” said Ou Virak, head of the local think tank Future Forum. “The heat comes very very early, there's hardly any real winter anymore there's no real cool season anymore.”

Climate change, he said, was also leaving its mark on regional diplomacy, with China commanding control of the water flowing into the Mekong River through an extensive dam network constructed over the last 20 years.

It's a huge advantage at the negotiating table with the Mekong River countries: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

“But also you look at the dams upstream in China. I think that will definitely have an impact not just on fisheries but also on the water supply,” Ou Virak added. “Downstream countries, including Vietnam, Cambodia, will have to find ways to negotiate with China.”

Vietnamese farmers are facing major crop losses due to severe drought and salt water contamination of agricultural land in the Mekong Delta and its 12 Vietnamese provinces. Some reports say salt water contamination has reached the Cambodian border.

FILE - Terraced rice paddy fields are seen during the harvest season in Hoang Su Phi, north of Hanoi, Vietnam, Sept. 18, 2015.
FILE - Terraced rice paddy fields are seen during the harvest season in Hoang Su Phi, north of Hanoi, Vietnam, Sept. 18, 2015.

Vietnam's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cao Duc Phat, is quoted in a state-run media outlet as saying 139,000 hectares of land within that country's borders have been contaminated by salt so far, and this will continue to rise at least until the start of the next rainy season, which is usually in June.

He said 575,000 Vietnamese were suffering from fresh water shortages alongside business like hospitals, schools, hotels and industry.

Tek Vannara, Executive Director of The NGO Forum, said a further 200,000 hectares of rice fields have been destroyed by the drought in Cambodia, and this was having a very bad impact on the lives of farmers, blaming most of the losses on increased salinity.

“The rice field, it is destroyed from the droughts,” he said.

“The salt, it comes from the deforestation in the whole of the Mekong region,” he said, adding the wholesale conversion of land that once sustained forests to agricultural and industrial use and made the problem much worse.

“In Cambodia, in Laos, in Vietnam or in Thailand, they already convert - to be agricultural development to be industrial. So this is another root cause,” he said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Though I don't buy global warming is man made but damming of rivers are man made. When man attempt to change the natural order like damming of rivers man brought about a disorder to the natural course of the rivers. And look at the consequence of that with the Mekong River. People who relies on the river to give them sustenance are at their wits end when the oppressors are holding the power of life and death by controlling the very source that produce rice and fish.

There are two possibilities of why 2015 drought has been affecting the whole world: 1) The El Nineo affect 2) Weather Manipulation through man made technology.

Think this through---UN made it plain that they want to reduce the world population to 500 million people. This could be just misinformation for the conspiracy theory people to get rile up, but nevertheless--people are being decimated daily through many different means to accomplish their goal. Weather Manipulation is a very powerful tool they can do this quietly without people realizing that the droughts they have been experiencing are mam made. So to cover up their evil deed they use Climate Change as the cause of the drought.

Sound like propaganda does it? Well, propaganda or not, the effects are real that people are being kill all day long because of the oppressor's power.

The power that be spent billions of dollars controlling weather all around the world while the poorer and dying for lack of food. At the same time they push Sustainable Development Agenda that suppose to combat food shortages.

This world lies in the hand of the evil one, Satan. Satan is a thief, murderer and destroyer. I'm sorry to inform you again that he is the instigator of all evil in this world -- which is his domain. He uses the power structure of this world to accomplish his will. Let me be more direct; he uses the governments of this world to do his bidding, the US government, UN government, EU government, China government....and so on. The reason he is able to do this is because the people in those governmental bodies are govern by their SIN nature or operates in the principality of lying spirits.


~Woe unto those who call evil good and good evil~

We are wedged in this dilemma at this space and time. We are forced to accept evil as good.


Unravel the Mystery of Iniquity (Lawless One).