Germany has provided equipment to the Mekong River Commission to monitor the environmental impacts of two mainstream dams on the lower reaches of the Mekong River.
The equipment, worth around $600,000, meant to help monitor the impacts of Laos's Xayaburi and Don Sahong dams, was handed over on Tuesday as part of the German government’s support for the MRC’s Joint Environment Monitoring of Mekong Mainstream Hydropower Projects (JEM) program, which is now in the pilot stage.
It includes sediment and discharge monitoring instruments, microscopes, water quality recorders, algae torches, boats, fish tags and traps, and GPS devices.
The equipment will be installed at three or more locations within each dam to collect data on hydrology and hydraulics, sediments, water quality, aquatic ecology and fish and fisheries, the MRC said. know in a statement.
German Ambassador to Laos Jens Lütkenherm said: “While Germany acknowledges that hydropower development can offer high potential for economic growth, it also poses major challenges in terms of adverse transboundary impacts on environment and the socio-economic life of the people,” said German Ambassador to Laos, Jens Lütkenherm, at the handover ceremony. in Vientiane.
Germany supports the MRC in monitoring the impacts of the Xayaburi and Don Sahong dams and hopes to advise the governments of the four member countries Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam on measures to mitigate adverse impacts. , he added.
Xayaburi and Don Sahong are the first two dams built on the lower Mekong River in Laos.
Previously built by Ch.Karnchang PCL, one of Thailand's largest construction companies, in 2010.The 1,285 megawatt dam, 150 kilometers downstream from the country's capital Luang Prabang, began commercial operation last October.
The Don Sahong Dam, which has a capacity of 260 MW, began operation in January last year.Malaysia's Mega First owns 80%, and Lao PDR EDL-GEN, the rest.
The Mekong flows 4,880 kilometers from its origin in Tibet through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam before emptying into the sea.The lower Mekong River in Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, is home to an extremely rich inland aquatic ecosystem with hundreds of species.
But experts have blamed dams upstream for impeding water flows, adversely affecting downstream ecosystems.
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