Oxfam Wraps up Campaign to Raise Awareness on Importance of Mekong River

Oxfam wrapped up a four-month campaign called ‘Along the Mekong with Sai’- a campaign to promote ecotourism, the livelihood of the vulnerable communities along the Mekong who are affected by the change of water flow, and rising threats to food security.

The campaign’s name dedicated to a journey on the Mekong River of a Goodwill Ambassador, Oun Batham, a Cambodian singer and performer, known as Sai, to the northern parts of Cambodia – Rattanakiri, Stung Treng and Kratie in March 2022.

Sai’s journey was to capture the stunning beauty of the Mekong, expose in diverse cultures and local practices, and listen to the voices of women, men, indigenous people and other members of the most marginalised community residing along the Mekong.

“Along the Mekong with Sai” campaign aims to promote the awareness on the richness of the Mekong River Basin and its importance to life of millions of Mekong citizens as well as to link a meaningful participation and dialogue between youth and affected communities – especially vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities and indigenous people who are the main targets of the project,” said Ms. Sophoan Phean, Oxfam National Director. “The campaign came to an end but the mission to protect the Mekong River and promote the livelihood of Mekong citizen will remain.”

“Rivers carry water and nutrient to all around the world and it is human life especially those dependent community. After the boat trip, I feel deeply connected to river- thank Oxfam for allowing me the opportunity to explore the richness of our Mekong river and the life of the community especially those indigenous and vulnerable group whose life and culture are connected to the river and forest,” said Sai, the campaign Ambassador said.

"My message to young people to join force to protect the river together. It does not belong to anyone but all of us. River is our life,” he underlined.

Through this campaign, it is hoped to attract more tourists who will visit the recreational areas along the Mekong River in support of the livelihoods of the people living there.

Ms. Nang Noy, a Project Manager of 3SPN organisation based in Rattanakiri province and a partner of Oxfam who co-organised the campaign believe that this campaign will be able to spread information about the indigenous people who live along this river to the public to understand how they depend on water and especially the issues that women living along the rivers are facing. "Even if we are tired, we are still happy. If this campaign is not useful, it must be exhausting. But this campaign allow our indigenous people an opportunity to learn,” she said.

“The Face of the Mekong” which is the video as part of the outcome of Along the Mekong with Sai Campaign has been selected to the biggest film festival in Cambodia (CIFF). The premier screening will take place on June 30, 2022 at Chaktomuk Theatre as part of the Mekong Discovery Program.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press