Environment and Climate Change Resource Exploitation

Drought Threatens Livelihoods in the Mekong

The Lower Mekong Basin saw 73% less rainfall in June this year than in 2019, creating food security risks for 70 million people in the region.

May to October is the rainy season in the Mekong Delta, but monitoring by the Mekong River Commission shows that parts of Thailand, Lao PDR and Vietnam are currently experiencing extreme or exceptional drought, while Cambodia is struggling with moderate and patches of severe drought. The unusually low water levels are causing serious problems for fishermen and farmers reliant on the Mekong.

This is a major blow for communities already struggling with the environmental and economic fallout of 48 dams constructed in the Lower Mekong Basin. Research by MDPI [PDF] shows these dams have reduced fish stocks Cambodia and Vietnam by nearly half a million tonnes, and led to reductions in maize production of 21% and 10% respectively.

Photo by Anne Lin on Unsplash

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