|Environment police, water traffic police and border guards seized boats that illegally exploit sand on the Co Co River in Da Nang City's Ngu Hanh Son District. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Le Lam
HCM CITY (VNS) — Excessive sand mining, which is illegal, has damsaged many rivers in the central region, causing severe erosion and disrupting the daily lives of local residents, local reports say.
In Quang Binh Province, boats publicly mine sand in Tuyen Hoa District, the Nguoi Lao Dong (the Labourer) newspaper reported on Monday .
Tran Thi Tiet, who lives near the Gianh River in Tuyen Hoa's Duc Hoa Commune, said illegal sand mining has seen soil erosion happen as far as 20 metres inland in the Cua Nghe area.
When district residents spot illegal mining of sand and report the activity to local authorities, the offending boats are not around when the officials arrive, said an Duc Hoa Commune official.
In Da Nang, illegal sand mining in Ngu Hanh District's Hoa Quy Ward has been happening for several years, and it has been hit hard by erosion, affecting 500 households, according to the local administration.
Nguyen Thi Hoa, who lives along the Cu De River in Da Nang City's Hoa Vang District, said illegal sand mining has eroded two metres of her banana orchard along the river.
"If this situation continues, my house will also fall into the river," she said.
In Da Nang's Cam Le District, four to five boats illegally mine sand in the local river every night, causing serious river bank erosion.
Here, too, residents said they have apprehended boats and handed them over to the police, but there has been no let up in the activity.
The sand miners have hired people to warn them about the arrival of officials, the residents said.
In Quang Ngai Province's Son Tinh District, the illegal mining of sand over several months have changed water flow of the Tra Khuc River.
Bui Toi, head of the An Phu Hamlet in Son Tinh's Tinh An Commune, said overexploitation of sand at Tra Khuc Bridge No 2 has changed the water flow of the Tra Khuc River, isolating the hamlet's local residents from outside areas.
Since September, Tra Khuc's water level has continued to increase, inundating the road that links An Phu with outside areas, he said.
"Local residents now have to use boat to go out of the hamlet," he added.
In addition, hundreds of trucks transport sand from the district to other places every day.
Residents of Son Tinh Town's Lien Hiep 1 Hamlet in Son Tinh District said the trucks run all day and night, affecting their sleep.
In Quang Nam Province's Duy Xuyen District, erosion at a 1.8-km dyke in My Phuoc Hamlet is threatening production and safety of local residents.
The province's Dien Ban District has seen serious erosion in Cam Phu 1 and Cam Phu 2 hamlets.
Illegal sand miners have recently become more aggressive and resisted officials when they are caught, according to local police.
When one boat is seized, others come and try to help the culprits escape, the police said. — VNS