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Ca Mau to relocate those living in vulnerable areas

Update: November, 18/2014 - 09:41
Most households living on and near the dyke are poor and earn a living from forests and sea.— Photo baocamau

HCM CITY (VNS) — Households living in vulnerable areas in the southernmost province of Ca Mau are being relocated to new resettlement areas.

Households living on the West Sea Dyke are being moved to allow the upgrading of a 14.6-long dyke extending from Tieu Dua to Lung Ranh.

The province has built two of three resettlement areas to relocate households on the dyke. Two areas, Huong Mai and Lung Rai, have been completed and house 374 households. The last resettlement area Tieu Dua will house 320 households.

Most households living on and near the dyke are poor and earn a living from forests and sea.

Nguyen Van Duan, whose family of five live on rented land near the dyke, said with nearly 20 years of living from fishing, his family could not buy land to build a house.

"I do not know when my children can have land to build a house," he said.

Nguyen Van Tranh, deputy director of the province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province had built many resettlement areas, but many households still lived in protective forests, coastal areas and natural disaster-prone areas.

"This is the province's biggest worry in protecting the property and safety of local people," he said.

Under the provincial People's Committee plan to resettle residents in the 2006-15 period, the province will invest in 35 resettlement projects to stabilise the lives of more than 13,800 households.

Since 2008, only 14 resettlement projects with total investment capital of VND484 billion (US$23 million) have been approved.

Of the 14 projects, four have been built, five are under construction, three have been suspended and two have not been implemented.

The plan has resettled more than 1,200 households so far, reaching 24 per cent of the target.

Phung Son Kiet, deputy head of the Sub-department of Rural Development, said Ca Mau was strongly affected by climate change.

The sea water level in the province has been increasing by 15-20 cm annually in recent years, and a large number of people who live in coastal areas face a high risk.

However, over the last 10 years, the province has been able to resettle only 1,000 households, he said, adding that at such a rate it would take 50 years to resettle everyone.

Low disbursement capital has been the cause for the slow resettlement process.

Many households in resettled areas cannot find jobs, and for that reason, some families are reluctant to move from their former homes, even if they are in danger.

If there is a project to be implemented, however, like the West Sea Dyke, the families have no choice but to leave.

To help people more easily find jobs, the province decided to build some small resettlement residential areas near their former homes, which can accommodate about 100 households, compared to 300-4,000 households in larger resettlement areas. — VNS

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