MRC Launches Channel to Improve Public Awareness on Flood and Drought Risks

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MRC Launches a Channel to Improve Public Awareness on Flood and Drought Risks in the Lower Mekong River Basin
MRC's Mekong Flood and Drought Forecast broadcast on July 31. (Photo: MRC)

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) has launched a Channel on Mekong Flood and Drought Forecast, aimed at improving public awareness and understanding of Mekong River conditions in the Lower Mekong River Basin (LMB).

Starting in July 2023, the Channel will provide regular updates on current water levels, flows, and forecasted flood and drought risks for people living along the Mekong River, broadcasting in English with subtitles in Mekong languages. It runs every Monday during this rainy season on the MRC Secretariat’s social media channels of Facebook and YouTube.

The Mekong River experiences flooding every year, which can bring both positive and negative impacts to the LMB. The annual flood pulse drives the basin’s fisheries, maintains river morphology, and deposits sediments to improve soil fertility. Floods can also have negative effects on economic and human activities, endangering lives and causing damage to infrastructure, settlements, and essential services.

On the other hand, drought brings socio-economic hardship to riparian countries. The duration and magnitude of drought impacts have significantly increased over the past two decades, and with different climate scenarios, the LMB is likely to see more severe droughts in the future due to less precipitation, high air temperature, and high evapotranspiration. The increase in population relying on Mekong water also increases water demands from all sectors.

To address these challenges, Dr. Anoulak Kittikhoun, CEO of the Mekong River Commission Secretariat, stated: “The MRC currently provides daily river monitoring, flood forecasting, flash flood guidance information, and drought forecasts to support Member Countries in managing risks. We are also working on drought adaption measures. The launch of the MRC TV Channel on Flood and Drought Forecasting is a part of our continued efforts to bring updated and useful information on flood and drought risks to people in the Basin in a more accessible way. We hope the channel, in addition to our website updates, can effectively reach millions more people living along the Mekong River.”

H’Hen Nie, Miss Universe Vietnam 2017, who helped promote the MRC Flood and Drought TV Channel, highlighted the importance of timely updates on drought and flooding, saying: “The Mekong Delta is known as the rice bowl of the region, so any drought or flooding in this area can have a direct impact on the lives of the people.”

The MRC Secretariat is hoping to have more support from other public figures and Influencers from the four member countries to promote the MRC Channel on Flood and Drought Forecasting to a wider audience. This will help support disaster management and emergency response and contribute to building a more resilient and sustainable Mekong River Basin.

To watch H’Hen Nie’s support video for the MRC Channel on Mekong Flood and Drought Forecast, please click here. The Channel has already released three broadcasts on 17 July 202324 July 2023, and 31 July 2023.