today (Sept 3) in Le Monde Magazine

Today we have an 8 page photoessay about the Mekong in the weekend magazine of the French newspaper Le Monde. For those outside of France you can see a slideshow on their website: www.lemonde.fr. In a few days we will have two new interactive maps about the Mekong River online. So please do come back.

For those in Holland. This week in ‘De Groene Amsterdammer’ a big story about the Colorado River.

And next Saturday in Le Monde Magazine a photo essay about the Colorado River.

“If you only catch one kilo of fish in a whole day, how can you live?”

Vo Van Tuan (34), fisherman and owner of small fish farm in his floating house in the Mekong delta in southern Vietnam.
I’ve lived here for almost 20 years. There used to be a lot of Fish in this water. Now there are many people and everybody is fishing. So the fish is gone.
Some people did not have enough food. They had to lock their door and leave for the main land.
This river has no future, we can’t fish for a living anymore. People will have to move to the main land where business is good. The local river people have no future here.
Some people had floating fish farms but they got no profit. they had to sell their farms and leave their place.
If you only catch one kilo of fish in a whole day, how can you live?

Conflict between tradition and Modernity

The setting sun paints the sky over Tonle Sap Lake lavender when fisherwoman Mrs. Samnang (32) pulls her net into her small boat with the help of her two children. Metal spray cans of RAID insecticide that they use to keep the net affloat bang against the boat. The catch is poor. “Nowadays we only catch small fish. All the big fish are gone,” she comments with a sad smile on her face. When asked for the reason, she just stares and says: “They say the Chinese have built dams in the river.”

The hunt for a small Airplane, Part 2.

‘Go to the airport’, had the travel agent told us. But before going on a wild goose chase that would not get us a decent price I first spent a few more hours researching the internet. Even a close study of the airport in Google Earth didn’t reveal the presence of any small airplanes.

Trying to rent a plane in Vietnam

‘Air walks on a plane in Tan Son Nhat International (Saigon)’, is what I found on the internet. ‘It is a rental aircraft. For a small fee you can rent a plane for air walks.’ Great news I thought, we can focus on aerial photos in the Mekong Delta after we decided to postpone a flight in Cambodia due to bad weather. (Every day around 4pm clouds rolled in over Tonle Sap Lake, spoiling the beautiful light you need for aerial photos.)