|Coastal erosion destroys mangrove forests in Ba Tri District’s Bảo Thuận Commune in Bến Tre Province. – VNA/VNS Photo Công Trí
BẾN TRE — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Bến Tre is facing increasing erosion along its coast, affecting the lives and production of locals.
With a coastline of 65km, the province has 18km of coast in Thạnh Phú, Ba Tri and Bình Đại districts eroding because of the impact of climate change, which has damaged farm land, mangrove forests, houses and crops.
In Ba Tri’s Bảo Thuận Commune, the coast of Nhàn island, for instance, has been eroded more than 200 metres deep into the land in the past four years, destroying mangrove forests and many houses.
Bùi Thị Mến in Bảo Thuận’s Thạnh Hải Hamlet said her family has 1ha of farmland near the coast, but most of the land has been eroded into the sea.
She had to move her house to a safer area about one month ago, she said.
“My family had to move the house three times in the past 10 years to avoid erosion, and now has only about 1,000sq.m of farmland,” she said.
Khổng Minh Tặng, chairman of the Bảo Thuận People’s Committee, said Nhàn island has been eroded for decades, affecting the lives of locals.
There are 68 households in the island affected by erosion, which has caused the loss of their farmland and houses, he said.
About 21ha of farmland on the island have been eroded into the sea, he said.
To prevent erosion, locals have used tree trunks and sandbags to make temporary erosion prevention embankments.
Tặng said support for erosion-affected households was limited because the commune has no budget, and the commune has encouraged locals to make temporary erosion prevention embankments to protect their properties.
Ba Tri District has more than 8km of its 12 km coast eroded, according to the province’s management board for investment projects in agriculture and rural development.
Nguyễn Văn Điền, director of the management board, said the province has nearly 3.8 km of eroded coast that do not have erosion prevention embankments.
The province has petitioned the Government to allocate VNĐ100 billion (US$4.2 million) to urgently build a 1,020 metre-long embankment to prevent erosion at Nhàn island, he said.
The construction of the embankment will help complete the system of erosion prevention embankments on the island, and increase the capacity and efficiency of erosion prevention, he said.
The province has implemented various measures, including building erosion prevention embankments, to prevent erosion in recent years.
The building of Geotube, a soft embankment which is made of fabric geotextile tube filled with sand and water, has effectively prevented erosion on Bửng island in Thạnh Phú District’s Thạnh Phong Commune.
The Geotube embankment is 1,100 metres long, was built in 2020 and cost VNĐ15 billion ($630,000).
Điền said the embankment has effectively prevented erosion and restored mangrove forests on Bửng Island.
With the support of the central Government and relevant ministries, the province has also built five erosion prevention embankment projects with a total length of 4.5 km and at a total cost of VNĐ230 billion ($9.7 million) in recent years. — VNS