$10.6M Floated for Mekong Commission

Donors on Tuesday pledged $10.6 million for the Mekong River Commission’s 1999-2000 work program, which includes developing the river basin, and forming water use rules.

Khy Tainglim, Minister of Public Works and Transport and chairman of the commission council, said the financial aid is vital to improving the economy, social structure and environment in the Mekong River basin re­gion.

The council, with representatives from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, gathered in Phnom Penh for its annual meeting to work out a plan for the social and economic development of the countries in which the Mekong flows.

The commission met with the Donor Consultative Group Tues­day, the last day of the council’s two-day meeting, to report the commission’s achievements and present next year’s work program for consideration by the donor community.

The top priorities for next year are pipeline projects in small watershed areas of Laos and Thailand and the reappraisal of the proposed Sambor dam project in Kratie province.

Mok Mareth, Minister of Environment, said the environmental and economic impacts of the Sambor project must be assessed before the dam is built.

The commission council also asked member governments to undertake a good faith effort to work out water-use rules to ensure the Mekong is used efficiently and effectively.

The Mekong River Com­mission was formed in April 1995 as a way for Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand to work together in establishing sustainable development, conservation and management of the Mekong River basin.


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