Landslides had reduced the area of mangrove forest in Kim Quy B Village from more 40,000sq.m to 4,000sq.m. — VNA/VNS Photo Lê Sen
KIÊN GIANG — The daily lives of some 500 households have been disrupted and 600ha of protective forest lost due to landslides on the nearly 70km seashore of the Mekong Delta’s Kiên Giang Province in recent years, with climate change blamed for the landslides.
The district of An Minh is believed to have suffered most from the landslides, with nearly 37km of shore damaged.
Võ Thị Kim Loan, of An Minh District’s Vân Khánh Commune, said her house was located in a place surrounded by mangrove forest five years ago. However, the landslides have seriously damaged the forest.
“It puts my house at risk of being affected by landslides,” she said.
This forced her to pay dozens of millions of đồng to reinforce the sea dyke near her house to prevent landslides each year, she said.
Nguyễn Thanh Điền, a forest protector in Vân Khánh Commune’s Kim Quy B Village said that ten years ago, the mangrove forest protected all aqua farms, but in recent years, landslides had reduced the area of mangrove forest in the village from more 40,000sq.m to 4,000sq.m.
Shrimp and fish raised in aqua farms were often swept away by high tides because there was no protective forest, he said.
Võ Minh Lễ, secretary of the district’s Party Committee said, “Serious landslides are strongly impacting the daily lives of local residents.”
“If we don’t devise a workable solution for the situation, the protective forest will totally disappear in the next two years,” he said.
Nguyễn Văn Tâm, director of the provincial Agriculture and Rural Development Department said the agricultural sector had worked with localities to make plans to fix the situation.
Evacuating local residents in areas facing serious landslides was a short-term solution, while in the long-term, the sea-dyke system should be re-built and the mangrove forest recovered to prevent landslides, he said.
Previously, the provincial People’s Committee ordered the agricultural sector to work with the People’s Committee of An Minh District to give solutions for the situation.
The provincial People’s Committee also asked district authorities to create mudflats along the 4-km seashore to reduce the impacts of high waves, worth VNĐ120 billion (US$5.2 million).
The provincial committee said it sent a report to the National Steering Committee on Natural Disasters Prevention and Control to ask for financial support to deal with the situation.
Huỳnh Đăng Khoa, deputy director of Project Management Division under the agricultural department said the province was finishing procedures to soon implement a project of Mekong Delta Integrated Climate Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods in 2018.
The project, worth VNĐ736 billion ($32.3 million), would build infrastructure, prevent seashore erosion and support people in aqua farming in two districts of An Biên and An Minh. — VNS