World / Asia-Pacific

China water release benefits people along lower Mekong River: Cambodian official

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-04-18 11:35

PHNOM PENH - Some 60 million people living along the downstream Mekong River in Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam are benefiting from China's ongoing discharge of water, local media reported on Monday, citing an official.

"About 60 million people who live along the lower Mekong River - including Cambodians - would benefit the discharge of water from China's upstream dam," the Khmer Times quoted Chan Yutha, spokesman for the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology, as saying.

"Even though the water level of the downstream Mekong River does not increase much in Cambodia, it helps reduce the effects of the drought for Cambodian farmers living along the lower Mekong River at Stung Treng, Kratie, Tboung Khmum, Kampong Cham, Kandal, Phnom Penh, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces," he said.

The lower Mekong countries have been hit by one of the worst drought in almost a century.

Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday that China's ongoing discharge of water from a hydropower station into the downstream Mekong River clearly reflected good cooperation on water resource management between China and the Mekong countries.

"Cambodia welcomes the recent decision of the Government of the People's Republic of China to continue to discharge water from Jinghong Hydropower Station in Yunnan Province to downstream Mekong River from April 11, 2016 to help alleviate the impacts of drought sustained by countries at downstream areas of the Mekong River, including Cambodia," the ministry said in a statement.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said last Tuesday that China decided to continue discharging water starting April 11 and last until the end of low water period.

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