Drums along the Mekong

From its origin in the high plateau of Tibet, the Mekong River is 2,800 miles long and the twelfth longest river in the world, flowing through six countries that include China, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. True to its name (Mekong means Mother River in Laotian), the Mekong River is the lifeline to more than 60 million inhabitants in downstream countries such as Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Most of them are poor fishermen living off the river fish catch or poor farmers using the river water and rich silt to grow rice. They also use the river as their principal means of transportation. The biggest threat to their livelihood is the hydro-electric dams built or planned by the Chinese in Yunnan Province. ...

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