Tag Archives: Chiang Rai

Unexpected Waters: How Sudden Water Changes in the Mekong Affect Local Thai Livelihoods

 

The riverbank vegetable plot in Boong Kla sub-district, Boong Kla, Bueng Kan was completely inundated.  Ms. Jarin Kamghong had to replant the plot after flooding in December 2013.  Photo: March 8, Montree Chantawong

The riverbank vegetable plot in Boong Kla sub-district, Boong Kla, Bueng Kan was completely inundated. Ms. Jarin Kamghong had to replant the plot after flooding in December 2013. Photo: March 8, Montree Chantawong

On an early morning last December, Manee* (name changed to protect privacy), a woman of 73, woke to prepare offerings to the monks in Ban Viang Kook of Nongkhai Province in Thailand. A papaya in one hand, she steadied the knife in the other to make somtum – northeastern Thailand’s famed salad dish. Apart from unripened papaya, the other crucial ingredient is tomato. Manee walked to her backyard on the banks of the Mekong River to pick some. That’s when she realized that her riverbank crops had flooded overnight, as she lifted her sarong up above her knees to avoid the water. Continue reading

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