A Rant about the Mekong Dams…..

The Mekong River is one of the longest and most powerful rivers in the World. Starting in Tibet, it flows for 2700 miles through China, into Laos, through Cambodia and Vietnam to the Mekong Delta and into the South China Sea. For millennia the fertile silt that it has generated has supported the many communities and civilisations along its banks. The rice production alone has fed entire populations as well as supporting the economy with exports of rice across the planet. The fishing industry also has been a major contributor to feeding and supporting the entire indochinese peninsular. The river is both spectacular and powerful and supports an entire ecosystem that has evolved around it’s bountiful waters. The Delta itself, which produces a considerable quantity of the worlds rice harvest, relies on its flow to hold back the incursion of salt water which would/will render it infertile.

The Chinese have already built literally dozens of dams along the Mekong in China and its many tributaries. The first major dam has already been built in Laos to generate electricity to sell to Thailand. Many more are planned with construction work already underway in several locations. Entire villages and communities had been forced to relocate to higher ground and their entire way of life disrupted.

Many of the dams upstream are rumoured to be built/planned with no locks thus rendering them unnavigable. So from a purely selfish point of view this will put an end to river cruising. However far more importantly it will be another nail in the coffin of Mother Earth, and do untold damage to the livelihood of the local population!!

Below is the only dam that we will encounter on this trip. It’s impact on the river that we have so far encountered has been in evidence since we arrived in Vientiane.

The Captain heads off to check the water levels and put markers in where there is a hazardous submerged tree

Then through the large double lock to the upriver stretch of the river that is now a lake all the way to our next stop at Luang Prabang.

OK Rant over !!!!! I’m too old to become an eco warrior! Back to Pandaw, cruising and excursions……

One thought on “A Rant about the Mekong Dams…..

  1. Rant as much as you like Robbie. If many voices are heard, it might help our home planet survive. We humans really are the most destructive creation.

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