Mekong Commission Airs Erosion Concerns

Concerns over erosion and sediment buildup at the Chaktomuk peninsula dominated this week’s meeting of the National Mekong River Commission.

Commission chairman Khy Taing Lim said problems at the con­fluence of the Mekong and Ton­le Sap have accelerated in re­cent years. The junction is shifting southward fairly rapidly, af­fecting downstream water distribution and land use, fisheries and other ecological systems.

He also said the Monivong Bridge and Nat­ional Route 1 to Vietnam could someday be threatened.

He noted several studies have been conducted in the last 40 years, but no concrete action plan has been developed.

“The creation of a more stable river morphology at Chaktomuk, probably through hydraulic engineering, cannot be avoided,” said Joern Kristensen, the MRC’s chief executive officer. Morphol­ogy refers to the form and structure of the river.

The sediment buildup already re­quires maintenance dredging of between 30,000 and 80,000 cu­bic meters every year so seagoing ves­sels can reach the port of Phnom Penh during the dry season.



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