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Thailand – Chiang Rai dams take toll on wildlife, farmers

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Thailand – Chiang Rai dams take toll on wildlife, farmers

This post is also available in: English ไทย (Thai)

The Dams in China on the Mekong River have disturbed the traditional flow of the river to downstream areas, affecting farming lands as the river water would cause much more frequent floods during the dry season. Villagers and farmers in Chiang Khong in the Chiang Rai Province, Thailand have expressed their dismay over the changes to the nature of the river, adding that it has become much more difficult for them to deal with the fluctuating nature of the river.

They reported many cases whereby the river would eat their crops and containers, they said farmers are left to deal with their losses. Moreover, environmentalists said that the dry season is crucial for animals and birds to reproduce as the water would recede under normal circumstances. The dams, however, would affect this process, by releasing water into the river in the dry season, disrupting the circle and affecting the wildlife. Water fluctuation in the Mekong River also causes erosion of river banks. The Thai government has to spend US$3.5 million per kilometer to build dikes to fix the issue.

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