Saturday, November 10, 2012

Xayaburi Dam Can Alter the Ecosystem of the Mekong River

 BBC News reports that the construction of the dam of $3.5 billion will be officially inaugurated next Wednesday and is expected to continue until 2019. The project is funded in large part by Thai money, since most of the electricity that is expected to produce, will be sent to Thailand.

While it has been suggested to make dams smaller on the tributaries of the River, which could produce more power with less environmental impact, Laos goes ahead with the dam Xayaburi, with slight changes, but still receiving criticism.

Modifications to the dam to cope with the migration of fishes and possible problems with sedimentation, have been made, but the impact that will have the dam downstream in Cambodia and Viet Nam, is still cause for concern.

The Mekong is one of the largest rivers in the world, and in his tour through six countries: China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Viet Nam. Its route is characterized by the presence of many waterfalls and Rapids due to the mountainous terrain, resulting in ecosystems of great beauty.
The Mekong is the river that has more stocks of the world, and involves the livelihoods of millions of families, since it contributes annually 2 million tonnes of fish, as the Siamese tent in the mud and the panga.

The Mekong also fertilize paddy fields, with its slime and allowing three annual rice harvests occur. The construction of the dam, would retain the silt, thus depriving the paddy fields of this natural fertilizer. In addition, the dam. It would also be an impediment for those fish species that back the River to reproduce.

On the other hand, the River is very polluted with arsenic, ammonia and other substances, arising from the use of fertilizers and pesticides in the cultivation of rice, as well as fecal waters from urban cores, that we are treated.

The dam, in addition to drastically reducing fish stocks, will increase pollution of the River, which has a direct impact on the health and survival of the locals, who will suffer all these effects for nothing, because the contribution of electricity do not affect them, nor see anything provided economic benefits, which will go to hands a French multinational.