HOA BINH — Nearly 100 households in Yen Lap Commune, the northern province of Hoa Binh's Cao Phong District, are in danger from breaking mountains.
Bui Van Tuong, head of Qua Village, said that whenever it rained, local residents fell into a miserable depression.
"After each rainy season, my house's stilts sink a little more. I want to move somewhere else, but do not have anywhere to go," he said.
The same worry haunts 50 other households in the village.
Bui Thi Ram, another resident of the village, said that her house used to be large and stable, supported by five rows of stilts. But some years ago gravel from the hill tumbled into her house, causing its foundation to sink.
She had to move somewhere else, but the same problem occurred when it rained, making her wonder if she should abandon the village entirely.
Two years ago, local authorities built a rock embankment along the road leading to Qua Village, said Bui Thanh Hoi, deputy chairman of the Yen Lap Commune People's Committee.
But the embankment could only prevent gravel and soil from rolling over the road. It could not prevent mountain landslides, he said.
Bui Van Tinh, chairman of the Hoa Binh People's Committee, said that five years ago the committee, in co-ordination with the district people's committee and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, set up a project to resettle those living in dangerous places.
However, the project required nearly VND15 billion (US$714,290), of which the provincial and district budgets combined could only pay about VND200 million ($9,530).
The money was only enough for the Cao Phong People's Committee to make economic and technological reports, set up a plan, carry out research and disarm bombs.
The province could not find any organisations or enterprises willing to provide funds for the project, so it was not carried out, said Tinh.
The provincial authorities asked the commune people's committee to check houses regularly for cracks. If any house shows signals of being in danger or collapsing, the committee should move its owners to a safer place.
"However, this is only a temporary measure. So far the province has not had any more effective measures," said Tinh. — VNS