|An erosion prevention embankment section is built along the Ba Rày River in Tiền Giang Province’s Cai Lậy District. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Trí|
TIỀN GIANG — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Tiền Giang has taken various measures to cope with natural disasters, helping to mitigate their damage.
The coastal province has faced saltwater intrusion from the sea, strong winds, and erosion along its coast, rivers and canals this year, and these natural disasters have affected agricultural production and the lives of local people, according to its Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, and Search and Rescue.
It had 15 whirlwinds that flattened a house, blew off the roofs of 213 houses, damaged 29ha of vegetables, 50ha of rice and nearly 1,000 fruit trees in the first nine months of the year, with total estimated damages of VNĐ6.2 billion (US$260,000).
During the period, the province had 98 erosion cases along its coast, rivers and canals with a total eroded area of 4.1 km long. The province has spent VNĐ68.9 billion ($2.9 million) to fix the erosion cases.
The province has not been directly hit by storms and tropical depression this year, but strong winds and waves at sea have affected fishing activities.
Nguyễn Đức Thịnh, head of the Steering Committee’s Office, said the steering committee has co-operated with relevant departments, agencies and localities to prepare human resources, facilities and food to be ready to cope with natural disasters and mitigate their damage this year.
Local authorities have regularly inspected the safety of dykes and embankments, and other preparations to cope with natural disasters.
The steering committee has established an inspection group to check the works of preventing and controlling natural disasters in localities from now to the year end.
The steering committee, in co-operation with relevant departments, agencies and localities, has developed a natural disaster map to take proactive measures for coping with natural disasters.
In the dry season, salt water normally enters deep into fields through the mouths of the two main rivers, the Tiền and Vàm Cỏ, affecting agricultural production and causing a shortage of fresh water for household use in the province’s western region, according to the province People’s Committee.
Rising sea levels and erosion have damaged large areas of mangrove forests along the province’s 32km coastline, it said.
To mitigate the impact of natural disasters, the province has restructured agricultural production in coastal areas in recent years.
It has encouraged farmers to switch to growing drought-resistant crops in rice fields in coastal areas which cannot secure irrigation water in the dry season.
It has implemented various projects of planting mangrove forests and building erosion prevention embankments and saltwater prevention sluices.
In 2016-21 period, the province spent VNĐ494 billion ($20.7 million) to fix 664 eroded sites along coasts, rivers and canals with a total eroded length of 60km.
It has petitioned the Government to allocate funds for fixing seriously eroded sites along the Tiền River, a tributary of the Mekong River.
In August, the province began construction of four saltwater prevention sluices in Cai Lậy and Châu Thành districts.
The four sluices cost a total of VNĐ864 billion ($36 million) and will prevent saltwater intrusion and store fresh water for agricultural production and household use in the south of the National Highway No. 1 section in the province. — VNS