Ubon Monitoring Group on Flood and Mekong Dams (UMFD)

An establishment

Ubon Monitoring Group on Flood and Mekong Dam (UMFD) was proposed and finally established by young activists and academics with the support of the local communities during the first research trip in Huay Maktai Village in mid-July 2023. The founding members of UMFD include the hydropower activists from Ubon Ratchathani town, the community representative from the affected village, who is also a member of the Assembly of the Poor (AOP), academics from Ubon Ratchathani Province, and Laos Dam Investment Monitor (LDIM).

The emergence of UMFD is comparable to the establishment of the Korean Task Force on Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy, which was established a few weeks after LDIM. UMFD and LDIM committed to work together as the sister network.

International Day Against Dam 2024, Ubon Ratchathani, 13-15 March 2024

Co-organized by the Ubon Monitoring Group in Flood and Mekong Dams (UMFD), Hong Hian Huk Mekong, Tamui, Villagers affected by Pak Mun Dam (Assembly of the Poor, Pak Mun Dam), Laos Dam Investment Monitor (LDIM) and International Rivers (IRs). The three-day event was organized at Pak Mun Dam, Khong Chiam District town, and Baan (village) Tamui in Khong Chiam District, Ubon Ratchathani Province. The local community proposed and created the event to join the campaign on International Day of Action against Dams to raise awareness and fight against the large dams that caused many problems in their livelihood. The 13-15 March 2024 event focused on Phou Ngoy and Ban Koum Dam, which was proposed to be built on the Mekong mainstream by Thai and Korean companies.

On March 13, the villagers affected by Pak Mun Dam, along with partner organizations and academics, gathered at Pak Mun Dam and joined in reading a statement opposing the Phu Ngoy Dam and demanded that the problems arising from the Pak Mun Dam be resolved. The group traveled to gather at Khong Chiam District town and marched together around the market areas of Khong Chiam District. After that, return to the area along the Mekong River to read the intentions and announce the activity to collect 50,000 signatures opposing the Phu Ngoy Dam to perform the ritual for Mekong ceremony, then go down to the waterfront to place incense sticks and float flower petals to pay homage to the river.

On March 14th-15th, the activities “Day for World Rivers and launching of faith community Area of Healing” happened at Baan Tamui, Khong Chiam District. In the morning, many boats traveled to “Song Bak Thua,” an island in the middle of the Mekong River. Then, allies from various areas were invited to discuss the value and intention of protecting the Mekong River from threatening dams.

In the afternoon, there was a discussion on "Tribes, Us, and Everyone Else" regarding beliefs and faith in people, soil, water, forests, conservation, and the community's spirit of respect for nature. In the evening, there were activities: lying down, hugging the stars, listening to healing music, and listening to stories of faith.

Photos and video links from the event


At Pak Mun Dam

In Khong Chiem District town

In Tamui Village


At Pak Mun Dam

In Khong Chiem District Town

Boat trip to the Mekong island

Panel discussion

Panel "From Cambodia to Thailand: The impact of the Don Sahong and Phou Ngoy Dams on Mekong Migratory Fish",26 November 2023

26 November 2023 – Organize a public forum "From Cambodia to Thailand: The impact of the Don Sahong and Phou Ngoi Dams on Mekong Migratory Fish" in Nongkhai Province, across from Vientiane Municipality in Lao PDR. LDIM invited Professor Ian Baird, the Mekong fish expert from Wisconsin University, Chanarong Wongla, the representative from Loei, the most impacted area from Sanakham and Pak Beng Dam on the mainstream, and Mrs. Sompong Viengchan, the prominent Pak Mun Dam campaigner, to speak. Many audiences attended the panel.

The video of the panel (In the Thai language)

Discussing with the dam-affected Hua Na and Rasisalai community on Phou Ngoy Dam, 5-6 November 2023

Hua Na and Rasisalai dams were built at the Mun River and destroyed the flooded forest and fishing ground to which people belong. The movement of these two dams was a very early case of the Assembly of the Poor. UMFD and LDIM team went together to discuss Phou Ngoy Dam with the community leaders about a piece of information provided by the Office of the National Water Resources that Phou Ngoy Dam, if built, has the potential to flood along the Mun River to the area of Hua Na Dam.

See some more pictures about this meeting;

A discussion “Ubon Ratchathani: Value, Natural Resources and Life along the Mun and Mekong Rivers”, 27 September 2023


- Ubon Monitoring Group on Flood and Mekong Dams

- Songsarn Coffee shop

- Mekong-ASEAN Environmental Week (MAEW)2023


-  Nikorn Weesapen, Human rights lawyer

- Sompong Viengchan, A representative of the affected communities by Pak Mun Dam

- Mongkol Julathat, President of the chamber of commerce of Ubon Ratchathani Province

- Ass. Prof. Kanokwan Manorom, Director of Mekong Sub-Region Social Research Center (MSSRC), Faculty of Liberal Arts, Ubon Ratchathani University

Moderator: Kamol Homklin, Thai Isaan PBS, Media for Happiness Foundation    

Watching YouTube Live on "MAEW_Mekong-ASEAN Environmental Week"

Panel discussion “Mekong Dam and Impacts to Ubon Ratchathani” in Ubon Ratchathani Province, 27 September 2023


- Ubon Monitoring Group on Flood and Mekong Dams (UMFD)

- Songsarn Coffeeshop


- Sorn Champadok, Community representative from the affected area by the Mekong Mainstream dam in Phosai District, Ubon Ratchathani

- Wittayakara Sowatta, writer

- Sujinum Jaikaew, Young farmers from Khemarat District

- The award winners from the photo contest

Overview and moderate by Premrudee Daoroung, Project SEVANA South-East Asia    

  Watching YouTube Live on "MAEW_Mekong-ASEAN Environmental Week"

Special Lecture at Ubon Ratchathani University, 28 September 2023

Special Lecture “Downstream Impacts of Dams on the Seasonally Inundated Riverine Forests of the Mekong River in Northeastern Cambodia” by Dr. Ian Baird, Professor, Department of Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison

(In the Northeastern Thai dialect)   


- Ubon Monitoring Group on Flood and Mekong Dams

- Mekong Sub-region Social Research Center (MSSRC), Faculty of Liberal Arts, Ubon Ratchathani University

- MAEW  

 Watching YouTube Live on "MAEW_Mekong-ASEAN Environmental Week"

Public Forum in Ubon Ratchathani University, 18 August 2023

An information sharing forum, “Water diversion canal project Mekong River Dam and the impact on Ubon Ratchathani people,” was organized at Ubon Ratchathani University with around 100 participants. The representatives from the Office of the National Water Resources, acting as a Thai National Mekong Committee, the Irrigation Department, and the engineering academia participate for the first time in the forum to discuss directly the link between the flood in Ubon Ratchathani, the mega water diversion project and the potential impacts of Phou Ngoy Dam. With official studies, the forum confirmed the possible impacts of Phou Ngoy Dam, and therefore, the audiences in the meeting hall were well convinced. The forum became an essential milestone for more people to join the campaign afterward.

Video from the discussion (In the Thai language)

Panel discussion upon the five years anniversary of Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Dam Collapse, 24 July 2023

On the 5th anniversary of the Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Dam collapse in Lao PDR, LDIM, together with the Ubon Monitoring Group on Flood and Mekong Dam (UMFD), organized the outdoor discussion panel “Build-Flooded and Collapse: The Mekong Dams. The two senior and prominent fisherwomen, Sompong Viengchan from the affected area of Pak Mun and Sorn Champadok from the areas affected by Xayabouri Dam on the Mekong mainstream, were invited to discuss their problems and solutions. Sodsai Srangsok, the coordinator of UMFD moderate the discussion.

The video from the discussion (In the Thai language)

The strategic meeting  

A strategic discussion hosted by the King Prajadhipok’s Institute (KPI) 

5 July 2023

UMFD and LDIM co-organized the strategic meeting on the Ubon Ratchathani Flood and Phou Ngoy Dam with The King Prajadhipok’s Institute (KPI), an academic organization under the jurisdiction of the president of the Parliament of Thailand. KPI’s mission is to support the development of democracy in Thailand by providing training, research, and different activities. The meeting was joined by local communities affected directly by the annual flood in Ubon Ratchathani, the Pak Mun dam communities, and the urban poor communities. The representatives of young artists, small-scale businesses, academics, and activists have also joined this meeting.

A meeting with the 20 community representatives from five Phosai District villages along the Mekong River, 23 May 2023

23 May 2023 – A meeting with the 20 community representatives from five Phosai District villages along the Mekong River in Ubon Ratchathani Province. The main objective of this forum was to discuss the possibility of initiating a joint participatory study in the area to gain first-hand information from the ground that should be the tool for the campaign against the Mekong mainstream dam in southern Laos that will affect most of the area of the province.

Information sharing on Mekong hydropower, the hydropower dam situation, the Thai and Laos energy problems by LDIM, and the Mekong Butterfly representative issues received high interest among the people. 

A Presentation about the Mekong Ecology by Montree Chantavong, The Mekong Butterfly