|A child sits on the edge of a river bank after his house was washed away in Tran Van Thoi District, Ca Mau Province. — VNA/VNS Photo
CUU LONG DELTA (VNS)— Thousands of families in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta live in erosion-prone areas, and local authorities are struggling to ensure their safety.
In Soc Trang Province, more than 60 families living along the Hau and Cai Con rivers in An Lac Thon town face the threat of erosion. This month several houses in the town's An Ninh 2 hamlet saw their floors and walls crack after land along the river banks sank.
Authorities have deployed rescue workers around the clock to promptly deal with problems caused by erosion.
Last year severe erosion occurred on several occasions in Ke Sach District – where the town is located — sending three houses plunging into a river and forcing six families to relocate immediately.
In Dong Thap, 1,700 households in erosion-prone areas need to be relocated but the province does not have the funds to effect the move.
Dinh Xuan Hoang, deputy director of its Department of Construction, said the erosion is set to worsen in future, with the number of households affected increasing to more than 3,000.
The department has urged the People's Committee to seek funds from the Government to build residential areas to settle households affected by erosion, he said.
Dong Thap has 100 erosion sites measuring a total of 45km in 40 wards, communes, and towns.
In An Giang, some 6,000 households live in erosion-prone areas, and the province People's Committee is seeking permission to build new residential areas to relocate them.
In the delta, coastal erosion too is a severe problem, but authorities have yet to take measures to combat it.
In Ca Mau, the sea is encroaching by an average of five meters a year, according to the province department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The West Sea dyke in U Minh District's Khanh Tien commune is badly eroded by waves, and local residents said they live in fear of the storm and rainy seasons.
Pham Hoang, a farmer in Khanh Tien, said high tides sometimes brought seawater into rice fields deep inland, damaging them.
It takes a few years to cleanse the fields of salt, he said. — VNS