Rivers of the World: The Mun River in Thailand

This programme is part of the series Rivers of the World
One of many fish species once again on the market after the Pak Mun Dam gates were reopened (© Flickr/International Rivers.com)

Rivers are the cradle of the world’s earliest civilisations. Mythology and religion were born on their banks. They provide us with life-giving water. We eat of their bounty and create power from their energy. Radio Netherlands tells the stories of some of these “arteries of the world”.

Thailand’s Mun River begins in the San Kamphaeng mountain range, northeast of Bangkok. It flows east for 673 kilometres, receiving the Chi River, its main tributary, and entering the Mekong River at Thailand’s border with Laos. Extensive damage to communities, fishing industries and the environment has become the hallmark of many hydro-electric dam projects around the Mekong Delta. The Pak Mun Dam – Pak Mun means mouth of the Mun River – in northeastern Thailand, has disrupted the lives of twenty-five thousand villagers. NGOs have been working with communities affected by the dam. They are campaigning for its gates to be permanently opened. Only then will fish migration for the Mun River be restored.

Producer: Neville Powis

Broadcast: November 1, 2002

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