Mekong Mainstream Dams Threatening Southeast Asia’s Food Security

The Mekong is under threat. The governments of Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand are considering plans to build eleven big hydropower dams on the Mekong River’s lower mainstream. If built, these dams would harm the river’s ecology and block the major fish migrations that feed and provide income to millions of people.

Plans for Mekong Mainstream Dams Revived

While China is midway through the construction of a controversial cascade of dams on the Upper Mekong (Lancang), the lower stretch of the river – shared by Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam – has so far escaped hydropower development. For the 60 million people living in the Lower Mekong basin, whose food, income, and other needs are provided for in part by the “mother of all rivers”, this has been good news. Yet, as the region’s economies grow and electricity demand increases, plans for a series of dams on the Mekong River’s lower mainstream have been revived.

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