March, 04 2014 08:31:46

President offers support to Mekong sea defences

President Truong Tan Sang visits an important dyke system in Hiep Thach Commune, Duyen Hai District, Tra Vinh Province.— VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang

TRA VINH (VNS)— President Truong Tan Sang praised the importance of dyke projects while inspecting development in the Mekong Delta provinces of Tra Vinh and Soc Trang.

The Mekong Delta is one of the three most vulnerable delta regions facing the harsh effects of climate change and is home to thousands of metres of protective dykes.

Sang said the sea dykes had helped to control tides, prevent salinisation, protect coastal property, support national security and reduce the risk of drowning.

However, local officials told Sang that strong tides and waves had damaged thousands of metres of sea dykes and flood-preventing forests in recent years, causing devastating property damage to local housing areas.

During the past two decades, the sea has encroached on the mainland in Duyen Hai district, Tra Vinh province, by a startling 2.5 kilometres, swallowing 6,000 hectares of coastal land.

Meanwhile, serious landslides had also been reported along the 22-km sea dyke in Cu Lao Dung district, Soc Trang province. The province houses seven anti-salinity culverts and seven bridges.

Despite residents in Tra Vinh and Soc Trang provinces pouring tens of billions of dong into upgrading dykes, they have found little success in preventing landslides and sea encroachment, which threatens local aquaculture.

It is forecast that sea water levels may rise by one metre by the end of the century, submerging 40 per cent of the Mekong Delta, 11 per cent of the Red River Delta and 3 percent of coastal provinces.

Sang also visited several families in the two localities and supervised the implementation of the Duyen Hai Electricity Centre project in Tra Vinh province. — VNS

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