Killing the Mekong

Mekong dam protest

Protestors fighting against the building of dams on the Mekong, here at a rally in Bangkok. Photo: Eureka Films

The Mekong – one of world’s great rivers. Flowing through six countries and sustaining the lives of 65 million people, this great waterway is under dire threat from a cascade of hydro-electric dams.

Four dams have already been built along the Chinese stretch of the Mekong .11 more dams have been mapped out downstream in Laos and Cambodia.

The mighty Mekong, the lifeblood of countless generations of Cambodian, Lao, Thai and Vietnamese, is in great danger from the destructive impact of dams and a headlong rush into hydropower.

Rare species -the Giant Catfish and the Irrawaddy Dolpin, will almost certainly be wiped out, if all these dams go ahead.

The unique ecosystem of the 4,880 kilometer-long Mekong is at stake, as well as the livelihoods of millions who depend on its bountiful resources.

The Mekong is the world’s largest freshwater fisheries. Dams are a threat to fish migration, and will produce devastating losses to food security in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Giant catfish

Giant catfish caught from the Mekong. Photo: Eureka Films

The flood pulse that in rainy season produces the ‘miracle’ of the Tonle Sap changing course and reversing its flow to and from the great lake.; is unlikely to survive the impact of projected dams starting with Xayaboury dam project in Laos.

This film looks at the risks and dangers of this cascade of dams. A Cambodian ngo activist asks who will benefit from the dam construction, he queries “development for Who?”

Techocrats and the hydropower lobby only speak about the benefits of more kilowatts and more energy. . Our film asks what are the real costs to communities, to food security, and to the whole society?

This documentary questions whether decision-makers and governments of the region are alert to the dangers of hydropower.

There is an urgent need to inform the decision-makers and energy consultants, that while there are there are many alternatives to electricity generation from dams, for 65 million people dependent on biodiversity and fisheries, there is no alternative to the natural flow of the Mekong River.

As the film-maker, Tom Fawthrop asks, are we the peoples and governments of the region, ready to join hands to protect this wonder of nature and its rich natural resources to Save the Mekong- before it is too late?

A Eureka Films production for more info, and the purchase of DVDs please contact: EurekaFilmsdocos@gmail.com