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Riverbank erosion forces evacuations

Update: October, 22/2014 - 09:16
The erosion of the Tien River bank in Thanh Binh district forced the local government to evacuate 1,258 families.— Photo phunuonline

DONG THAP (VNS) — The erosion of the Tien River bank in Thanh Binh district forced the local government to evacuate 1,258 families.

Climate change, strong flooding and illegal sand mining changed the river flow and eroded the riverbank, a process that was likely to continue, local authorities said.

People living beside the river in five affected communes had to move to safe areas after 13.46 km of riverside land were eroded, including a road, said Thanh Binh People's Committee deputy president Nguyen Thi Phien.

The district authority moved the road to a new position 100-200m from the eroded area and proposed that the provincial government allow the construction of an embankment to protect 500 houses in Binh Thanh commune from the riverbank erosion. The 666m embankment would be made of reinforced concrete and cost the local government VND 75billion (US$3.5 million).

The district government also proposed the province finish constructing new residential areas to provide accommodations for people from the affected communes.

Dyke approved

The Kien Giang Province People's Committee has approved construction of a sea dyke along the Rach Gia city coast at an estimated cost of VND390 billion (US$18.6 million).

To be carried out in 2016-20, the work, beside a 3.9km embankment, will also see an arterial road elevated to run on top of the dyke, construction of two bridges, and installation of sewer and water supply systems.

The work, a response to the threat of climate change, will be undertaken by the city People's Committee.

More than 385km of land along rivers, canals, and the coast have been eroded in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Kien Giang, affecting agriculture, according to the local Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

Submerged coastal forests that help prevent erosion have seen their areas decline. In many places they have disappeared altogether, according to the department.

Lam Hoang Sa, deputy chairman of the Kien Giang People's Committee, said the province was drafting a plan to revive and enlarge the forests, possibly by next year.

The People's Committee has instructed competent agencies to study the eroded spots, consolidate river banks and carry out afforestation to prevent further erosion.

It is also encouraging farmers to develop production models in which trees are planted to check erosion. — VNS

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