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Cambodia: Activists from the Mekong River countries urge their govts to consider negative impacts of hydropower dams construction

Author: Sotheary Pech, Khmer Times, Published on: 1 August 2019

"Mekong river countries urged to reconsider hydropower dams", 31 July 2019

Activists representing Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam ... urged their respective governments to consider the lives of people living around the Mekong River when building infrastructure projects.

Some of the activists urged governments to increase impact assessment initiatives, while others called for the suspension of all ongoing hydropower dam projects...

Kong Chanthy, a local community representative from Stung Treng province, said the construction of hydropower dams in China, Laos and Thailand has made people living downstream lose access to natural resources, such as fish. Mr Chanthy also said that the construction of the dams has affected biodiversity.

... Trung Tin Nguyen, a community representative from Vietnam, said hydropower dams drastically changes water flow, and that its impact is mostly felt by people living near the river’s lower parts because they depend on fish and other resources provided by the river...

Touch Bunthan, acting president of the Fisheries Administration’s Biodiversity of Fresh Water Fisheries Research and Development Institute, dismissed the notion that the construction of hydropower dams alone causes changes to the river.

... Nhu Doung Hai, stakeholder engagement specialist with the Mekong River Commission’s secretariat, ... said the MRC has studied challenges in detail, provided relevant comments and provided information to member countries, adding that it’s up to each government to make a decision on the impact of hydropower dams.

Biju Abraham, acting director of Oxfam in Cambodia, ... said the MRC has identified that hydropower dam construction projects along the Mekong River and its tributaries have impacted the ecosystem, food safety, and the economy of the people in the region...

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