13/04/2016 14:56 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

China continues releasing water to drought-hit Mekong River countries

Hanoi, April 13 (VNA) – China will continue discharging water from a hydropower station into the downstream Mekong River for drought relief, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said on April 12.

According to Lu, water has been discharged from the Jinghong Hydropower Station in Yunnan province from April 11 and the release will continue until the end of the low water period.

The volume of discharged water will be adjusted in accordance with the situation in upstream areas and the demand of downstream countries, Lu said.

China had discharged water from the dam from March 15 to April 10 at the request of downstream countries suffering from drought.

The water was stored by the power station during high-water periods, Lu said, adding this indicates that water conservancy facilities can reduce the impact of droughts and floods on countries in the river valley.

China is ready to cooperate with countries in the Mekong River basin to deal with severe climate phenomenons and protect water resources, he said.

On April 11, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen said his country is facing a severe drought, and expressed his hope that China would continue to supply water to the downstream Mekong River.

The river originates in China and runs through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is known as the Lancang River in China.

Since the end of 2015, due to the effects of El Nino, countries along the Lancang-Mekong River have sustained droughts of varying degrees.

In Vietnam, drought and salinisation have seriously affected the lives of people in 10 out of the 13 Mekong Delta provinces, with nearly 160,000 hectares of rice damaged and destroyed by the phenomenon since the end of last year.