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Navigation Channel Improvement Project
on Lancang-Mekong River

The Upper Mekong Navigation Improvement Project, funded by the Chinese government, is part of a grand scheme to allow large ships to freely navigate the Mekong between China and Laos. The first stage of the project would destroy 11 major rapids and 10 reefs along the Mekong from China-Burma border to Ban Houayxai in Laos. To date, 20 of these rapids and reefs have already been blasted, with only one along the Thai-Lao border remaining. The second and third stages would involve further canalization of the river.

The destruction of rapids, shoals and scattered reefs may have widespread ecological impacts along the entire length of the Mekong. Islets and rapids are sources of food and income for fishermen who rely on the river for their livelihoods. Blasting of the rapids would severely threaten the income and food security of villagers living in the area.

  Villagers protested in front of the Chinese embassy yesterday urging Beijing to drop a plan to clear reefs in the Mekong river. Bangkok Post, Dec 13, 2002 

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Mekong Rapids Blasting


Blasting the Mekong rapids

photo: www.chiangrai.com




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