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The Mekong River, which flows through six countries for 2,703 miles, flows through Kratie Province in northeastern Cambodia for approximately 87 miles. Kratie Province, and its numerous tributaries that feed the Mekong, borders the Cambodian provinces of Stung Treng to the north, Mondulkiri to the east, Kampong Thomand Kampong Cham to the west, and Tbong Khmum to the south. The region, mostly covered in dense forests and including the Phnom Pram Poan mountain range, is known for its attractive riverside scenery, green villages, and rice paddies. Endangered Irrawaddy dolphins and many species of fish and birds are home in the Kratie Mekong, which also houses a number of deep pools that are critical fish habitat important to sustaining the fish, fisheries, and livelihoods for the vast majority of the population. Most Kratie residents, including seven indigenous groups, are subsistence farmers or fishers who live along the river. However, the Kratie Mekong faces multiple threats including from hydropower dams, both operating and proposed, illegal fishing, and gold mining. Kratie Mekong River Waterkeeper will empower the grassroots communities to claim their rights to natural and fisheries resources management and build a strong unified voice to respond to development policies and programs.
Mr. Sovann Sam is the Kratie Mekong River Waterkeeper in Kratie Province, Cambodia. He is also the Executive Director and founder of the sponsoring organizing Northeastern Rural Development (NRD), established in 2012 to promote the active participation of the people, local organizations, and local authorities to empower vulnerable people, including women and indigenous people, in achieving better life and dignity, particularly as they depend on healthy water resources. Sovann has been working on environment and water issues, especially fisheries and hydropower development on the Mekong River and its major tributaries, since 2003. He is also an active member of the chief steering committee of NGOs - the Environmental Climate Change Alliance, a member of the national Rivers Coalition Cambodia, and member of the regional Save the Mekong Coalition. Moreover, Sovann has also established a NGOs water governance working group in Kratie province. Mr. Sovann Sam has a Master degree of Integrated Management for Agriculture and Rural Development and was a former Program Coordinator of Oxfam Australia (May 2003 to June 2012) in Kratie Province, Cambodia.
Trapaing Pring Village, Sangkat Kratie
Kratie Town, Kratie Province