Hydropower dams pose threat to life on Mekong River hinh anh 1Xayaburi hydropower dam in Laos (Source:VNA)
The construction of hydropower dams on the mainstream Mekong River has had the largest impact on fishing and local livelihoods in the lower basin, as heard at a consultative seminar in Hanoi on October 28.

With a length of 4,880 kilometres, the Mekong River flows through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Representatives from the Ministries of Natural Resources & the Environment, and Agriculture & Rural Development examined reports on water resources, waterways, biodiversity, fisheries, agriculture and livelihoods in the region.

According to reports, hydropower development in the mainstream river will reduce sediment by 50-70 percent and bio-capacity by 30-50 percent, making it vulnerable to river bank erosion and leading to a decline in farming and fisheries production.

It also seriously harms the fish and aquatic life of the river in the region, including the Mekong dolphin.

About 50-64 species of migratory fish in southern Cambodia and Vietnam, or 10 percent of the total, are at risk of extinction. Up to 33 species of white fish, or 40 percent of the total, are prone to death since their migration is blocked by large infrastructure.

Participants asked for updated findings on the pros and cons of the hydropower construction to devise specific solutions.-VNA