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Central region targets control of erosion

Update: August, 20/2012 - 09:53

HCM CITY— Authorities in the central provinces of Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Ngai have given urgent priority to the growing problem of land erosion near rivers, coastal areas and mountains.

Quang Ngai has approved six projects that will cost billions of dong to move households from landslide-prone areas to resettlement sites, according to Do Ky An, the head of the province's Rural Development Office.

Under the projects, more than 375 households will be moved to six resettlement areas located in Ly Son, Nghia Hanh, Son Tinh, Tay Tra and Ba To districts.

The People's Committee is working with local agencies on four projects, which will cost VND30.6 billion (US$1.4 million), of which VND21 billion ($1 million) will be taken from the province's budget.

If the projects are completed in the third quarter of this year, 154 households would benefit.

In Thua Thien-Hue Province, local authorities will launch two projects to build embankments along the coastal area of Dong Hai near Tam Giang lagoon.

In recent years, land erosion in the area has damaged 1,200 households, causing dozens of houses to fall into the sea.

Many seabank areas in the province face a high risk of landslides along an eight-kilometre stretch of coast.

"As the flood season is coming, our villagers' houses are in danger of falling into the sea," said resident Huynh Ne of Huong Tra District's Hai Duong Commune, which is one of the areas that face the highest risk of landslides.

"We want to benefit from the province's resettlement programmes," he added.

"The provincial government has invested more than VND40 billion ($1.9 million) to move 900 households from landslides to resettlement areas," said Phan Thanh Hung, head of the province's Dyke Management and Flood and Storm Control Office.

However, another 1,000 households must be moved, said Hung, adding that the projects had been implemented slowly because the province lacked the necessary VND20 billion (US$1 million) to do so.

The province has developed new residential areas to resettle families in recent years, but local officials said they did not have the budget to build dykes.

The problem of land erosion has gained greater urgency with recent housing collapses that have killed residents and destroyed property.

According to experts, the main reasons for increasing land erosion are the over-exploitation of sand, weak dyke systems, and higher volumes of water from seas, rivers and canals. —VNS

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