Many trees in a mangrove forest in Sóc Trăng Province’s Vĩnh Châu Town have died because of water shortage. — VNA/VNS Photo Chanh Đa
SÓC TRĂNG — Trees in mangrove forests in Mekong Delta Sóc Trăng Province’s Vĩnh Châu Town have died or are dying because of water shortage, according to the town’s Forest Protection Bureau.
Trees have died in a 1.5ha mangrove forest managed by the town’s People’s Committee and in a 175ha mangrove forest managed by the bureau.
The mangrove forests are mostly white mangrove and spotted mangrove more than 10 years old.
The upgrading and construction of a sea dyke and a dam outside the mangrove forests to prevent saltwater intrusion has contributed to water shortage, according to the bureau.
After the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province built the dam at the Hồ Bể - Giồng Chùa Canal and rebuilt the Năm Đoàn Sluice in 2017, sea water was blocked from the forests.
The Giồng Chùa Canal, which provides water for the mangrove forests is silted, cannot transport sufficient water from the Mỹ Thanh River to supply the forests.
Hoàng Văn Thắng, chairman of the town’s People’s Committee, said prolonged drought and severe saltwater intrusion this year had contributed to water shortage.
The town is opening sluice No16 to take water to save the dying mangrove trees, and will choose a suitable time to replace dead mangrove trees and recover the forests.
This is the first time that many trees in the mangrove forests in Vĩnh Châu Town have died because of water shortage, according to the bureau.
With a coastline of 72km, Sóc Trăng’s coastal areas are protected by mangrove forests that improve the environment and prevent erosion.
The province has implemented many forest planting projects in recent years, increasing the protective forest areas, according to the province’s Forest Protection Sub-department.
Last year, it planted 243ha of new mangrove forests, increasing the total mangrove forests to 7,355ha.
The province has also allocated management of mangrove forests in Trần Đề and Cù Lao Dung districts and Vĩnh Châu Town to locals to protect and harvest forest resources.
Trần Trọng Khiêm, head of the province’s Forest Protection Sub-department, said the allocation had helped reduce illegal logging and improve the lives of the households.
The sub-department has also worked with localities to establish community-based forest protection groups.
Vĩnh Châu Town’s Vĩnh Hải Commune has established the Âu Thọ B Hamlet community-based forest protection group to protect mangrove forests in the commune.
Trần Văn Thanh, chairman of the Vĩnh Hải Commune People’s Committee in Vĩnh Châu Town, said many people in Âu Thọ B Hamlet participating in the group have protected the forests, which have developed well and protected the coast from erosion.
The mangrove forests provide livelihoods for locals as they can breed and catch aquatic species in the forests. — VNS