Farmers in Cambodia have complained that they cannot grow rice during the dry season, while fishermen have said their daily catches have decreased in size due to the lack of water.

Published: February 22, 2021 11:30 am |

Last updated: February 22, 2021 at 11:30 a.m.

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Like China, Laos built dams to become the “battery of Southeast Asia”. (Representative image only)

WASHINGTON: Dams on the Mekong River, which originated in China, have affected the livelihoods of people in downstream countries like Vietnam and Cambodia, while upstream neighbors continue to benefit from hydropower projects.

Loud In a report on Radio Free Asia, farmers in Cambodia complained that they could not grow rice during the dry season, while fishermen said the size of their daily catches had decreased due to the lack of water. The same goes for the fish farmers.

“I lost a lot of income because I could not work in agriculture,” said one of the farmers in Prek Dong village in Kandal province in Kampong Svay municipality in Kien Svay district.

She told the RFA’s Khmer service: “I rely on agriculture, but there is no water – we had too much drought and hardly any rain. I also had to buy fish and rice [instead of growing them].” ”

“Every year there is water in the river, there is fish, we can make prahok, but now there is nothing,” she said, adding, “My brother grows bananas and he was forced to have water out of one nearby lake to pump to fill his gut. “

One of them spoke about the agony of fish farmers in Kampong Cham province called Eang Nam, saying that the shallow river is the regular flow of water in and out of nearby lakes and streams and thus the spawning of F “This year water shortages are severe and farmers are running out of water for dried fruit,” he said.

Recently, Ministry of Water Resources spokesman Chan Yutha said at a press conference RFA reported that the problems affecting the Mekong and the Tonle Sap, which connects the Mekong with Cambodia’s largest lake, are due to “natural phenomena” including less rainfall.

Since four of Cambodia’s main water sources are heavily influenced by the Mekong Hem Odom, an independent river resources and environment consultant, believes the Mekong River Commission (MRC), whose role is to review key changes in the Mekong, needs to do more to resolve river level issues , as statements about problems.

The MRC works directly with the governments of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, but not with China and Myanmar.

Hem Odom has di e MRC urged states to use the forum to “find common topics” to discuss with China, which has more than 10 large dams on its side of the river.

Like China, Laos has built dams around to become the “battery of Southeast Asia”.

“So the question goes back to the Mekong Commission – the intergovernmental commission: what can it do first among the four [member] countries so that we can bring a common message to China and have conversations, “he said.

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