Power plays on the Mekong
Laos' intransigence in pushing forward with the Xayaburi Dam project reveals the ineffectiveness of the commission charged with overseeing development on the river, leaving other countries that stand to be effected without a voice
Eventually, we could proceed no further. In the distance, a one-metre high gravel barrier emerged from the brownish waters of the Mekong, the planned construction site of the controversial Xayaburi Dam. As we moved closer, we could see the gravel wall had blocked most of the width of the river and there was only a small channel with rocks and rapids left for the longtail boat to navigate through.
MOTHER OF WATERS: The Mekong’s many diverse habitats, including swirl pools, rapids, outcrops, sandy bars, gravel banks and others, are home to many species of marine life that provide food and livelihoods for those with access to the river.
Our veteran boatsman was nervous. He slowed the boat and craned his neck to get a better view. ''I'm not confident that I can steer the boat through it,'' the driver told us, and everyone in the boat was just as fearful.
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