Flood refugees flee resettlement estate
QUANG BINH (VNS)— Poor living conditions have forced many refugees from flood-stricken areas to flee the Moc Dinh resettlement estate and return to their former homes in Hong Thuy Commune.
More than 50 families were moved to Moc Dinh in 2009 because they were living on flood-prone land.
Each household received VND10 million (US$480) initial support and about 1,500sq.m to create a vegetable garden.
However, after a short time at their new quarters, residents realised that the area was not suitable for cultivation. So far 40 households have returned to their old houses.
Le Thi Hang, one of residents who is still in the resettlement estate, said that soil in the new estate was poor. She said her garden consisted of sand that could not even produce grass.
Roots died from the heat in the summer – and in the rainy season they rotted because the water could not escape and stagnated.
This was because all the sluice gates at the new site were higher than garden level, said Hang.
"We do not have careers and we cannot cultivate our gardens. We have to go out to work for someone, or return to our old houses in desperation," she said.
Another refugee, Pham Thi Don, said that the biggest issue was that none of the resettled families had been issued with a land-use right certificate.
Apparently, the district People's Committee decided not to issue residents with the certificates because many were uncertain which way to go.
Don said that if residents wanted to improve the impoverished soil, they must have funds.
‘However, it is too difficult for us to borrow money from banks as we do not have any property to mortgage," she said.
Deputy chairman of the Hong Thuy Commune People's Committee, Chau Van Song, said the committee had sent a document about stagnant rain water in residents' gardens to the district People's Committee, but so far had not received a reply.
Residents who return to their old houses and start growing rice again, know there is a likelihood that there efforts will be washed away.
Meanwhile, deputy chairman of the Le Thuy District People's Committee, Pham Huu Thao, said the survey of the land made before resettlement was not done carefully enough.
This meant that part of the construction work was not suitable, including the sluice-gate system.
At present, the district authority is checking all problems to see if they can be rectified. It said all sluice gates would be re-built with district funds.
The district will also call for agricultural expansion projects to help residents, said Thao. The projects may focus on helping residents breed buffaloes. — VNS