Troubled Waters in the Mekong Region

A conversation with journalist Abby Seiff about the challenges facing Cambodia’s Tonle Sap lake.

thediplomat 2022 04 28 072847
Abby Seiff

The plight of the Mekong River and the impact of climate change, dams, and illegal fishing has raised alarms bells across Southeast Asia and beyond.

But rarely reported are the lives of ordinary fishermen and their families who rely on the river and the Tonle Sap lake, which branches off the river from the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh and extends to Siem Reap in the northeast.

Journalist Abby Seiff has sought to address that issue with her new book, “Troubling the Water: A Dying Lake and a Vanishing World in Cambodia.”

Seiff weaves stories of the past with the present issues plaguing the Mekong basin and the impoverished families who are struggling with everyday life. Many are heavily indebted and are looking for alternatives, particularly for their children, including land, homes, and schools.

In full:

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