Themes / News from Long Gully

News from Manna Gum

August 2011

Manna Matters August 2011

se san site

Photo: The site of the proposed Lower Se San 2 dam in Cambodia, the impacts of which will be felt as far as Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.


This edition of Manna Matters is a collection of pieces loosely gathered around the themes of how we give to and assist the poor. The next edition will continue this theme with a special focus on the Australian aid program.

In April Jonathan & Kim were privileged to take part in the first Queensland School of Discipleship, along with many good friends there. Some of the things we discussed included discipleship and everyday economics, the church as alternative community and ethical shopping.

The dramas with the campaign to halt the Xayaburi Dam in Laos have continued with victories, setbacks and much confusion, all in the space of a few months. The current situation is as clear as the muddy waters of the Mekong - officially the dam has been suspended, however the Lao Government is continuing with pre-construction preparation work.

Jonathan has just returned from a last minute trip to Cambodia where the Save the Mekong (STM) Coalition met to chart a way forward in tricky times. As part of the meetings in Cambodia, STM members visited villages along the Se San and Sre Pok rivers, major tributaries of the Mekong in northeastern Cambodia. There we discussed with villagers the impact of upstream dams in Vietnam upon their way of life and heard about their fears about more dams being planned on their doorstep. One of these - Lower Se San 2 - although it is a tributary dam will have impacts almost as catastrophic as a dam on the mainstream of the Mekong.

woman in p'luk village

Photo: A woman in P’luk village, Stung Treng, listens intently as STM members discuss the Lower Se San 2 dam with villagers. The villagers have received virtually no information from the government or company about the proposed dam, and seized the opportunity to grill STM members about what they knew.