Viet Nam News
KHÁNH HÒA — Severe erosion at the riverbank is putting the lives of hundred households in Nha Trang City at risk while local authorities lack money to comprehensively tackle the problem.
The most serious case is the riverbank along Cái River in four communes in Nha Trang City, a well-known resort city in south-central Việt Nam.
According to estimates by the Khánh Hòa provincial authority, the erosion has affected 150 houses in which 600 people reside in Vĩnh Thạnh Commune and more than 250 houses inhabited by 1,000 people in Vĩnh Trung, Vĩnh Phương and Vĩnh Ngọc Communes.
Years ago, people living in these areas planted bamboo trees to protect the riverbank. However, rows of trees have fallen and been swept away by the water due to landslides and erosion.
The house of Võ Thị Cúc, 62, a resident of Vĩnh Phương Commune, used to be 20m away from the riverbank, but now the distance has reduced to 10m.
Cúc told Vietnam News Agency that whenever the water level rises, part of the riverbank is submerged, resulting in the bamboo trees collapsing en mass.
“We are very worried, but we don’t know where to relocate because of financial difficulties,” Cúc said.
Phan Trần Nghị, vice chairman of Vĩnh Ngọc Commune’s People’s Committee, said landslides and erosion had encroached upon some 20m of land, forcing some households to move to other places.
At some areas where breakwaters were built, such as at the foot of Vĩnh Phương Bridge and in Vĩnh Ngọc Commune, erosion still occurred and had damaged the breakwaters.
Meanwhile, Khánh Hòa Province is continuing to build breakwaters at spots where serious erosion and landslides occur. However, the province is facing financial difficulties to execute this work and to repair the damaged breakwaters.
The province has asked the central government for financial support of VNĐ150 billion (US$6.7 million) to build more breakwaters along the river.
A representative of Khánh Hòa Irrigation Branch said building a system of breakwaters is an urgent requirement to protect people’s safety. However, measures should also be taken to stop sand dredging in the river, which has been taking place for many years and was a reason for the landslides and erosion, he added. — VNS