Checking the fishing net
The livelihoods in the Mekong Delta depend heavily on rivers. If the river is exhausted and polluted, will the next generation see these images?
Photo Hieu Minh Vu (Dong Thap)
The pottery village in Vinh Long province
The alluvial, silt-loaded Mekong River ﬂows downstream to the Tien and Hau Rivers. Annually, the river deposits millions of cubic meters of sediment along the Delta, accumulating in Vinh Long and contributing to the formation of long-existing primitive clay mines and deposits.
Photo Hong Bao Toan (Vinh Long)
Harvesting Nang grass
When the farming season of Kieu onion comes, many farmers go to fields and harvest Nang grass to sell to Kieu onion farmers. Nang grass is used for covering Kieu onion fields. Nang grass is grown in water, and requires farmers to be in the water in order to harvest it. Farmers are worried about their health because the water is so polluted by fertilizers and pesticides.
Photo Nguyen Duong Hai (Dong Thap)
Sun drying Lac grass
Adapting to the harsh conditions of the ﬂooded area, people in Dong Thap district use boats for Lac grass sun drying.
Photo Lo Van Hop (Dong Thap)
Sunset on the ﬂoating village
A ﬂoating village was sparkling in the night. Fish-raising cages is becoming more and more compensated for the depletion of natural aquatic resources.
Photo NguyenVan Hop (An Giang)
Night fish market in Tha La
The night fish market in Tha La opens at 2 a.m and closes at 5 a.m for local people, allowing them to sell fish caught among the flooded fields.
Photo Kieu Anh Dung (An Giang)
Aunt Ba Sol clearing water hyacinth to plant water lilies
On an oﬀ-farming day, Aunt Ba Sol prepared to transplant water lilies. Many clusters of water hyacinths along An No canal’s bank threatened to destroy her water lilies. To prevent hyacinth, people often use trees to make fence. Aunt Ba Sol chose a diﬀerent approach to make it easier and faster: Wire and plastic bottles. After cleaning all hyacinth, she transplanted water lily stems in to mud inside the protected circle. After a half of month, she can collect the water lilies for meals.
Photo Cao Thanh Long (Soc Trang)
Sa Dec village has had rapid development of a tourist industry in recent years due to its magnificent ﬂowers. In the village, the woman play a very important role in caring for and harvesting the ﬂowers.
Photo Nguyen Dương Hai (Dong Thap)
Tha La in the afternoon
A poor family is rowing a boat to cast a fishing net in Tha La field during ﬂooding season.
Photo Nguyen Nam Phuong (An Giang)
Although the sun has set, the women of the Tan Thanh seashore (Go Cong district, Tien Giang province) continue to gather oysters to earn more income for their family.
Photo Kieu Anh Dung (Tien Giang)
Boat of ﬂowers
Due to the topography, land in Sa Dec is often ﬂooded. People here have the innovation to grow ﬂowers elevated above the water. The main means of transportation when caring for or moving ﬂowers is on small boats.
Photo Đo Trong Danh (Dong Thap)
Opportunity from the ﬂooding season
People in Dong Thap Muoi always eagerly await the beginning of ﬂooding season, as it brings with it many opportunities for improving one’s livelihood. Taking advantage of the waters, villagers make bamboo rafts to feed frogs in order to cultivate more food for themselves.
Photo Hoang Bich Nhung (Dong Thap)
A bountiful season
When the ﬂood comes, local people in the Mekong River Delta are happy to receive it, and they take full advantage, catching and using many kinds of aquatic resources from nature.
Photo Hoang Bich Nhung (An Giang)
By the Mekong River
In the process of reaching gender equality, affirming the roles of women in society is one of the most important undertakings, especially in the Khmer ethnic community. The daily life of the Khmer people in the Mekong River Delta is heavily associated with water, the river, living with the ﬂood, using tools in the ﬂooded fields such as the fishing trap, fishing net, and other various tools.
Photo Dinh Cong Tam (Soc Trang)
Loading up the fish
Fresh fish being loaded onto a boat in Con Tien (An Giang province).
Photo Nguyen Nam Phuong (An Giang)
The images of men and women rowing together rigorously on the river for competition are not so strange anymore, with people loving the Ngo rowing games in Maspero river (Soc Trang city). In the past, Khmer women could not stand on the Ngo boats for religious beliefs and purposes. From 2006, the belief and tradition had been abolished.
Photo Cao Thanh Long (Soc Trang)
Before 1975, farmer cultivated one crop per year, they clear the grass in July to plant the rice. In March, they pull the rice up and replant afterward. They prepare the meal the night before then goes to the field every early in the morning. There was a clear labor division, man transfer rice, woman replant.
After 1975, farmer have to check the irragtion system in every early morning when they grow two crops per year. People stopped worry about food at this time. Then the local residents have increased their livelihoods since irrigation system built.
Photo Le Quoc Viet (Can Tho)
Marriage first, Love later
For my husband and I my parents and his parents were friends. His mother liked me and my mother also liked him so she wanted me to become her daughter-in-law . Back then I did not want to marry him. My mother yelled at me and I ended up having to listen to her. She said that if I married an abusive husband, and if he left me, she would not take care of me. I was scared to hear that so I listened to her.
Photo Dao Ngoc Nhung (Can Tho)
Look back to ourselves
Mrs.Mai’s husband and two other neighbors often go fishing at mid-night. By using electric fishing gear, they catch even the smallest fish. That why I invited Mrs.Mai to join group of studying local knowledge. Once raising her own awareness, I hope she will go back home and talk to her husband as well.
Photo Nguyen Thi Quyen (Can Tho)
Start of transplanting season
Every September, farmers in the Mekong Delta gather in Tri Ton and Tinh Bien districts to participate in the Dolta festival. One of the traditional practices carried out in Dolta festival is “asking for water” if there is a drought; or “welcoming water” if there is a flood. Monks in the Ro Pagoda transplant rice alongside the farmers in front of the pagoda. This festival is carried out to encourage people to develop their agriculture, and maintain rice cultivation. It is hoped that this mitigates the situation of farmers leaving their felds, and giving up rice cultivation and agriculture. This abandonment of rice is a consequence of global climate change and the depletion of viable water resources, and results in land either being affected by the intrusion of saline water, or becoming deserted.
Photo Hoang Ngoc Hai (An Giang)
Ecological shrimp farming on Nang grass fields
This is a model of ecological shrimp farming on the Nang grass felds in U Minh district that has a high economic value, low cost and the food source for the shrimp mainly come from nature.
Photo Hong Bao Toan (Ca Mau)
A graceful ﬂow
The river appears almost ﬂexible, twisting and curving to create a breathtaking image when viewed overhead. Water coconuts are planted along both sides to protect the riverbanks from landslides and erosion damage.
Photo Ho Quoc Minh (An Giang)
Day in the life of the woman selling noodle
Every day early in the morning, Truong Thi Tung drives her ﬂoating boat in Phong Dien ﬂoating market (Can Tho City) to sell noodles. It is a unique experience to enjoy the bowl of hot noodles on a boat ﬂoating in the river.
Photo Nguyen Van Tuan (Can Tho)
The photos in this gallery are prize winners in the 2017 & 2018 photo competitions organised by our partner WARECOD/VRN in the Mekong Delta.
Copyright rests with the Vietnam Rivers Network