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Thousands of Mekong Delta households face erosion threat

Update: June, 10/2014 - 08:59

HCM CITY (VNS) — Authorities in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta are seeking ways to relocate thousands of households living in erosion-prone areas.

In Hau Giang Province's Phung Hiep District, for example, parts of eight houses in Tan Long Commune's Thanh Loi A1 Hamlet fell into the Nang Mao River last Saturday because of riverbank erosion. The eroded area was 40 metres long and four to six metres deep inland.

The foundations of more than 10 houses were damaged, and they are now in danger of collapsing.

Le Van Ho, chairman of the Tan Long People's Committee, visited the site and told local police and other forces to help affected households move to safe areas.

The Tan Long People's Committee also arranged forces to monitor the erosion site around the clock.

Le Phuoc Dai, head of the province's Sub-Department of Irrigation, said local residents had built houses too close to the river, narrowing the river and causing water to flow more rapidly. This resulted in even more erosion, he said.

The Dong Thap Province People's Committee last week announced emergency measures to prevent riverbank erosion along the Tien River in Cao Lanh City's Ward 11.

Since early this month, erosion about 100 metres long and 25 metres deep inland has threatened the lives of hundreds of households.

The Dong Thap People's Committee also told the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and several agencies to relocate households in the eroded area.

Boats and other waterway transport facilities have been banned from docking at the eroded area, said the People's Committee.

Dong Thap has 34 communes, wards and towns that have had riverbank erosion with a total length of 38.7 km, affecting 4,000 households. In many areas, erosion was 10- 40 metres deep inland.

The province's eroded sites are in Hong Ngu, Lai Vung and Chau Thanh districts, Cao Lanh and Sa Det cities and Hong Ngu Town.

The Dong Thap Province People's Committee has asked the Government to support financing for the province to build an additional nine residential areas and clusters to relocate households living in erosion-prone areas.

An Giang Province has about 6,000 households living in these areas, and its People's Committee has asked the Government for help to build an additional 19 residential areas and clusters to relocate them.

To prevent further erosion, the An Giang People's Committee has decided to also relocate 244 floating cages that breed fish and other aquatic species in the Hau River in Long Xuyen City's My Hoa Hung Commune.

Under the decision, owners of the floating cages have to move their cages to new places to the east of My Hoa Hung Islet by the end of this year.

In the coastal province of Ca Mau, local authorities have reported that about 80 per cent of the land on the eastern and western coast of Ca Mau had suffered erosion.

Erosion has also occurred along most rivers and canals, affecting agricultural production and thousands of households, they said. — VNS

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