MRC Launches Television Channel on Flood and Drought Risks

date_range 04-Aug-2023
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Phnom Penh, August 04, 2023 --

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) said Friday it had set up a television channel on Facebook and YouTube to improve public awareness of flood and drought risks in the Lower Mekong River Basin (LMB).

“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,” said Anoulak Kittikhoun, chief executive of the MRC Secretariat in Vientiane.

“We hope the channel, in addition to our website updates, can effectively reach millions more people living along the Mekong River.”

Starting in July, the channel provides weekly updates on water levels and flows along with forecasts for flood and drought risks.

The four-minute broadcasts — in English with subtitles in Khmer, Lao, Thai and Vietnamese — run every Monday during the wet season. The MRC noted that the Mekong’s annual flooding drives fisheries, maintains river morphology and deposits sediments that improve soil fertility. But the flooding can also endanger lives and damage infrastructure, settlements and essential services. MORE SEVERE DROUGHTS EXPECTED

As for droughts, “the duration and magnitude of drought impacts have significantly increased over the past two decades,” the MRC said.

“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.” DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE

The MRC said it was seeking support from public figures and influencers from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam to promote the new channel 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,” it said.

The MRC has already engaged H’Hen Nie — Miss Universe Viet Nam 2017 — to promote the broadcast initiative.