Mekong delta tightens measures to fight erosion

July 30, 2022 - 08:57
Local authorities in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta have declared an emergency as erosion along rivers and coasts in many localities has increased.

Erosion along the Ba Rày River affects Road 54C in Cẩm Sơn Commune in Cai Lậy District. – VNA/VNS Photo Minh Trí

HCM CITY – Local authorities in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta have declared an emergency as erosion along rivers and coasts in many localities has increased.

The delta, which is the country’s largest rice, fruit and seafood producer, has 751 eroded areas with a total length of 976 km, according to the Việt Nam Disaster Management Authority.

About 20,000 households in the city of Cần Thơ and the provinces of Đồng Tháp, An Giang, Vĩnh Long and Cà Mau are living in erosion-prone areas and need to be relocated to safe areas, it said.

It is the peak of the rainy season, and erosion along the Tiền and Hậu rivers, two tributaries of the Mekong River, is occurring continuously.

In Cần Thơ, there have been nine erosion cases with a total length of 268 metres so far this year, according to the city’s Irrigation Sub-department.

The city is building 15 kilometres of river embankments to prevent erosion in dangerously eroded places.

It will implement an embankment project costing VNĐ272 billion (US$11 million) to prevent erosion along the Trà Nóc River in Bình Thuỷ District. The project will build a 2,000 metre-long embankment along the river in 2022-2025.

In the southernmost province of Cà Mau, its People’s Committee has announced an erosion emergency at a western sea dyke section in Trần Văn Thời and U Minh districts.

In July 11, strong waves caused by winds and high tides eroded three places with a combined length of 110 metres along the dyke.

The sea dyke section has five deeply eroded places with a total length of 2,692 metres, which threatens the safety of agricultural production and local people, according to local authorities.

Infrastructure facilities such as power networks, national heritage sites and schools near the erosion are facing danger, they said.

Cà Mau has more than 100 eroded places with a total length of thousands of metres.

The province People’s Committee has ordered relevant departments, agencies and localities to implement urgent erosion preventing measures to mitigate damage.

The province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development was told to co-operate with relevant agencies to mobilise for emergency search and rescue cases.

They should relocate households in dangerously eroded and erosion-prone places to safe areas, said the province People’s Committee.

They should install warning boards and ban vehicle travel at eroded places, it said.

Nguyễn Long Hoai, head of the province Irrigation Sub-department, said the sub-department has used rock bags to prevent further erosion at dangerously eroded places at the western sea dyke.

Eroded sea dyke sections which do not have protective forests need concrete embankments to protect the dyke and recover protective forests, he said.

In Đồng Tháp Province, local authorities have declared an emergency due to erosion along the Tiền River in Lấp Vò District’s Tân Mỹ and Mỹ An communes that threatens the safety of 500 households and 20 production establishments.

The province is taking procedures to build an erosion prevention embankment project along the Tiền River in the two communes.

The project will cost VNĐ399 billion ($17 million), including VNĐ290 billion from the central budget.

In Tiền Giang Province, erosion has occurred along rivers and canals in flood-prone areas in its western districts and towns.

The localities have had four erosion cases with a total length of nearly 500 metres this year.

They have spent about VNĐ7.6 billion ($325,000) to solve the erosion cases, according to the province People’s Committee.

The province has petitioned the Government to allocate VNĐ673 billion ($28.7 million) to implement four erosion prevention projects along rivers and coasts. – VNS