Mekong Delta attacked by erosion
  • | dtinews.vn | August 26, 2016 11:03 AM

The authorities in Mekong Delta region are struggling to deal with river bank and coastal erosion which is threatening the lives of many people.


Ca Mau authorities used rocks and piles to temporarily protect the land

According to Ca Mau Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, erosion has hit over 2,100 metres of coastal area. They are also losing protective forest and even sea walls and dykes are being threatened.

The province is building a VND12bn (USD545,000), 600-metre underground wall and a 1,500 metre-long dyke in U Minh District to protect people living in coastal areas.

Department deputy directorTo Quoc Nam said construction was behind schedule due to unfavourable weather. The authorities used rocks and piles to temporarily protect the land while the new dykes are under construction.

Other provinces in the Mekong Delta are also facing erosion. Two sections of Tien River in Hong Ngu Commune, Dong Thap Province have eroded, losing 2,000 square metres of land. Due to the severity of the situation, this area is on the list to receive support from the World Bank to build embankments.

The river bank erosion has been a problem in Hau Giang Province. A 100-metre long road was damaged, causing travel difficulties. Many people are worried that if the local authorities cannot find a solution to this problem quickly, even their orchards will be hit by erosion.

Con Son Island in Can Tho City is one of the most severe cases, as it loses land regularly during the storm season. Cao Van Ba, who has lived on the island for 50 years, said the size of the island had been reduced from 100 hectares to 40 hectares. He blamed sand over-exploitation for speeding up the erosion.

The 20-hectare Ca Doi Island already disappeared last year because of erosion. Tan Loc Island is also losing land. In 2010, the island was 3,300 hectares but last year, it lost four hectares.

According to the Institute of Coastal and Offshore Engineering, the over-exploitation of sand will create deep holes in the sea and riverbeds and river bank and beaches will erode to fill those holes.

Dao Trong Tu, director of Centre for Sustainable Development of Water Resources and Adaptation to Climate Change, said reservoirs and hydropower dams upstream could erode 25,000 hectares of forest land, 8,000 hectares of cultivated land and damage half of the alluvium of the Mekong River.

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