Regional Centre to Reduce Mekong Flood Damage

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 5th Apr 2008

The new Regional Flood Management and Mitigation Centre building has been officially opened in Phnom Penh, marking a vital step forward in avoiding loss of lives and the damage that flooding can bring.

In a ceremony to mark Mekong Day, April 5, H.E. Mr Lim Kean Hor, Cambodia’s Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology, and Chairman of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Council, declared the state-of-the-art facility open, calling it “another milestone in the history of cooperation in the Lower Mekong Basin”. According to the Minister, the Centre “demonstrates the solidarity and will of Cambodia, the Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam to continue their cooperation in the development and preservation of water resources and natural resources in the Mekong River Basin”.

In 2006 at least 224 people were killed by floods in the lower Mekong countries, while well over 12,000 homes were severely damaged. These conservative estimates show that flooding can have catastrophic effects on people’s lives, and it is well known that the poorest people are the most severely affected.

The new Chief Executive Officer of the MRC Secretariat, Jeremy Bird, said that floods pose a conundrum to the governments and people of the Mekong States. According to Mr Bird, flooding “is on the one hand a natural event that brings life to the plains, nurturing both wildlife and traditional agricultural cycles. On the other hand, it can also be terribly destructive, wiping out human life and destroying efforts to build a secure and healthy existence”. This duality is what has caused the MRC and it development partners to invest so much money and resources in the new centre.

The building of the Flood Centre was financed by the Government of Japan, while other donors, like the Netherlands, Germany, the United States, Denmark, the Asian Development Bank and the European Commission, fund a wide range of its operations. The Flood Centre will gather information from water monitoring systems all over the Mekong Basin, from Yunnan Province in China all the way down to the Delta in Viet Nam. At the Centre, readings are collated and flooding events predicted. News and warnings are then sent out across the region, helping authorities and communities to prepare for events as early as possible. As the heart of the MRC Flood Management and Mitigation Strategy, the Centre also provides training and technology transfer to technicians of the four MRC Member States.

-ends-

For more information

Mr. Damian Kean, Interim Communication Advisor
Tel: +856 56120695 or +856 21 263 263 Ext. 4703
Email: damian@mrcmekong.org

Latest News

Tonle Sap and Songkhla Lakes Pledge Continued Friendship and Joint Learning for Post-Project

Officials and community members of Thailand’s Songkhla Lake basin and Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake pledged today to continue their friendship and joint learning ...

MRC ready to support review and update of Lao hydropower strategy and plan

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) has welcomed the highly applauded and progressive decision of the Prime Minister of Lao PDR, following an extra-ordinary meeting of his cabinet on 6 August 2018 ...

FAO recognizes MRC fisheries valuation research

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has acknowledged work by the Mekong River Commission (MRC) to estimate the economic value of inland fisheries in the lower Mekong basin...

Water flow in Jinghong to decrease, but without significant impact downstream

The outflow of water at the Jinghong hydropower station in China will gradually decrease by about two-fifths over a two-day period during this weekend, according to an official notification from China’s Ministry of Water Resources being copied to ...

Starting date for Pak Lay hydropower project Prior Consultation process agreed

The Joint Committee Working Group (JCWG) for the Procedures for Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement (PNPCA) of the Mekong River Commission has agreed on the starting date of a six-month prior consultation process for the proposed 770-MW Pak Lay


Media Contact

For media inquires, please contact:
Sopheak Meas: sopheak@mrcmekong.org
Le Thi Huong Lien: huonglien@mrcmekong.org or
mrcmedia@mrcmekong.org or view the Contact page here