Anders Bekeken

100 Places To Remember: The Mekong Delta Vietnam

Geschreven op 30-5-2010 - Erik van Erne. Geplaatst in Natuur Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

100places to rememberA Place Where Life Thrives Above and Below Water. In Southern Vietnam, the Mekong River forms a network of tributaries and canals that criss-cross the land before flowing into the South China Sea. Deposits from the river and its tributaries have made the Mekong Delta a lush area of vast plantations and one of Vietnams largest rice, vegetable and fruit producing regions.

Most of the 17 million people who live in the delta belong to the rural poor, making their living by farming and fishing. The green waterways are at the centre of daily life, and hum with activity from floating markets, restaurants, petrol stations and occasional tourist boats. Lining the banks are fish and snake farms and houses built on stilts. Some families construct cages below their houses to breed fish to sell at the market.

The people of Southern Vietnam are proud of their vast, fertile land. They call it co bay thang canh, the land that is vast enough for the cranes to stretch their wings as they fly.

The Mekong River makes its way through Chinas Yunnan province, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia before it reaches Southern Vietnam. Being downstream, both Cambodia and Vietnam are heavily affected by pollution from the runoff of pesticides and heavy industry that takes place in the Upper Mekong regions. They are also suffering from the side effects of dams, mainly in China, which are reducing the water flow.

Dams and pollution are not the only threats to the vibrant water-world of the Mekong Delta. The projected global rise in sea level will increase saltwater intrusion into freshwater ponds and rice fields. It will also cause flooding, leading to a loss of cropland, mangroves and marine species. By the end of this century, much of the Mekong Delta could be completely submerged for parts of the year, damaging the livelihoods of millions of families.

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