Monday February 13, 2023


Heavy rains and a bumper fish crop have improved life along the Mekong River after a nearly four-year drought, poor harvests and the pandemic took a heavy toll on some 65 million people who rely on the waterway for their daily livelihoods.

According to the Laos-based multinational Mekong River Commission, which coordinates use of Mekong resources, the drought had affected fish and agricultural production but ended as mainland Southeast Asia experienced regular rainfall last year and late rains that extended the wet season into December.

The Lower Mekong Basin, including Thailand, southern Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, fared best, and a commission spokesperson said “the region is not still in a drought.”

Meteorologically, he said, the basin “has been in normal and wet conditions since January.”

A return to “normal” had Cambodia’s Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry forecasting a much improved 2022-23, as the annual fishing season got under way with families fermenting carp into the traditional prahok, or fish sauce.

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