In response to complaints about upstream dams in Vietnam causing flooding along the Sesan River in Ratanakkiri province, the Vietnamese government is constructing a regulator dam aimed at stabilizing the flow of the river’s water, a Cambodian official and an NGO worker said Wednesday.
In the past, those living along the river have claimed that excess water released from the Yali Falls dam in Vietnam in the rainy season has killed fish and damaged their crops.
Pich Dun, secretary-general of the National Mekong Committee said that when the dam is completed in Vietnam in August it will help regulate water coming from the Yali Falls dam. “[The dam] can help people living downstream,” he said, but added that he is still concerned about the impact Vietnamese dams have on Cambodia.
Kim Sangha, director of the Ratanakkiri-based 3S Rivers Protection Network, also said that the regulator dam will help to limit the impact of that particular Vietnamese dam, but added that it would not be enough.
“We welcome this construction, but it is not enough for Cambodians,” he said, adding that Vietnam should also contribute to the development of clean water supply systems for communities along rivers affected by Vietnamese dams. Officials at the Vietnamese Embassy could not be reached for comment Wednesday.