Erosion problem keeps getting worse in the Mekong Delta
  • | laodong, dtinews.vn | May 29, 2020 04:22 PM
As many as 104 areas in the Mekong Delta region are facing serious erosion while the authorities lack solutions.


Erosion at Highway 91

The Mekong Delta Region has a total of 564 erosion spots that are over 834km long. 104 spots that are 203km long are the most dangerous. Since 2010, erosion in Mekong Delta has become more urgent and dangerous every year. The Mekong Delta has lost about 300ha of land and mangrove forest to erosion.

On May 27, the banks of the Hau River were washed away and one-third of the surface of Highway 91 was lost, threatening dozens of households. On May 13, the erosion on Bui Huu Nghia Street swept two houses into Binh Thuy River. Luckily no one was hurt.

In April 2019, serious erosion occurred at the construction site of an incomplete embankment at the O Mon River in Can Tho City. Around 60 metres long and 5 metres deep land was lost. About 11 households were affected. The embankment project was approved after serious erosion occurred there in 2019, damaging 11 houses.

Research and surveys have revealed erosion were caused by various reasons such as climate change. The construction of reservoirs in upstream countries like China, Laos and Cambodia has reduced the amount of mud brought to Vietnam. It is predicted that only 47.4 million tonnes of mud and sediment will be brought to Vietnam this year, 67% lower than in 2007. Moreover, sand exploitation is being carried out rampantly in many countries and rapid urban developing along the river bank has caused more erosion. The area of housing in this area has increased by an average of 18 million square meters each year.

Another reason is the impact of increasing traffic activities in Vietnam. The policy to develop urban areas and industrial zones along the rivers to attract investment, unplanned fish farms and sand exploitation have caused negative impacts on underground water sources and stability.

Nguyen Huu Thien, an independent researcher on the Mekong Delta ecosystem, said the most important task was to complete the plan to reallocate riverside populations and plan for sustainable development. It would be best to evacuate people from vulnerable locations that haven't had erosion yet. At erosion spots, the local authorities must decide to repair the damaged construction or relocate people.

Nguyen Phu Quynh from the Southern Institute of Water Resources Research said in the long term, the water flow of the entire river and channel system must be adjusted.

Le Anh Tuan from Can Tho University said local authorities must be careful about allocating lands for economic and industrial development. Embankments should be built and trees should be planted at vulnerable spots.

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