Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Two rivers, two activists by Chuck Baclagon

Two rivers, two activists

The theme for this year’s World Water Day, celebrated last week, is “Clean water for a healthy world.” It’s a theme that nicely slots into one of Greenpeace’s most important campaigns in the region: protecting our water.

Here in Thailand our water campaign is focused on the Chao Phraya River which runs through the country’s central plains, through Bangkok, and several other towns before it reaches the gulf of Thailand. But as much beloved as the Chao Phraya is to Thais is the Mekong which runs through five countries and defines the border north and northeast Thailand. Greenpeace visited the Mekong recently to look at drought-affected areas in the vicinity.

The Chao Phraya and the Mekong are perhaps Thailand’s two most iconic rivers. This blog is about two people, both activists, who are working to protect these two rivers.
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Water Patrol documents the threats to Majayjay’s waters by Chuck Baclagon
Reflection of the vegetation on irrigation water from Mount Banahaw.

Reflection of the vegetation on irrigation water from Mount Banahaw.

The world celebrates World Water Day every March 22.

This year, some 50 members of the Greenpeace Water Patrol went to Majayjay to document the beauty of Mt. Banahaw and the waters that spring from it as part of Project Clean Water’s activities.

The Taytay Falls in Majayjay is the 7th of a series of Falls that form the Dalitiwan River which eventually joins the Pagsanjan and Sta. Cruz Rivers, the two largest tributaries of the Laguna Lake. We were there to highlight the need to urgently protect the remaining clean waters from contamination. The Majayjay waters are especially significant since it is one of the few remaining clean waters within the Laguna Lake Water Basin.

We grouped ourselves into 2 teams. The first team went deeper into the forest, an area not normally open to the general public but was accessed with a guide and special permission from the Barangay and the local DENR. A second team stayed around the Falls and the surrounding community to conduct interviews with campers and members of the community. Continue reading