“Save water”, “Water is life”- we all are habituated to teach and learn this since the childhood. But directly or indirectly, the whole humanity is responsible for polluting water- the very source of life. What does it mean by keeping water clean inside our home, when the large rivers and oceans are getting immensely polluted? Who is listening to the cries of River Mekong?
Mekong River is the 7th largest river in Asia and one of the major water sources in Southeast Asia. Many countries like China and Tibet, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam are dependant on it. Thousand varieties of fish are found here which adds to the economic prosperity and protein-rich diet of these nations. But the river is facing continuous damage and destruction by the environmental pollution. Of course, the researchers at Helsinki University of Technology are trying their best to save the river, but there are many challenges on the way. Urbanization, growing slums, intensive farming, damming, and warring political ideologies are major obstacles on the path.
Researchers are also requesting for international support to protect Mekong River. The ‘3E principle’- a term coined by these researchers stands for economic, equity and environmental sustainability. IWRM (Integrated Water Resource Management) is an integrated approach that revolves around this “3E principle”. It encourages the participation of stakeholders and government throughout the entire water drainage basin. “Mekong at the Crossroads”- the IWRM workshops have been organized in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. If the IWRM efforts are practically understood and applied with the cooperation of all the concerned countries, we can hope to protect the river from further damages. But the plan and execution seeks proper participation from all the nations.