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Jakarta Post

Why ASEAN must pay more attention to the Mekong Delta

  • A. Ibrahim Almuttaqi

Jakarta   /   Thu, June 9 2016   /  07:01 am

The recent diplomatic spat between Indonesia and Singapore over the city-state’s effort to prosecute an Indonesian businessman for his alleged involvement in the haze last year was a frank reminder of the devastating impact man-made disasters can have on the region.

Yet while the regional haze — considered the worst since 1997 — attracted most of the headlines around the world, another man-made disaster has struck the ASEAN region virtually almost under the radar: the Mekong Delta drought.

The great Mekong River — which from its source in the Tibetan plateau of China passes through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam before flowing out to the South China Sea — is at its lowest level in a century after experiencing its worst dry spell in 90 years.

Experts suggest a combination of the stronger than-normal El Niño weather pattern, climate change a...