An eroded bank of the Chợ Gạo Canal in Tiền Giang Province’s Chợ Gạo District. – VNA/VNS Photo Hữu Chí
TIỀN GIANG – The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Tiền Giang is facing increasing erosion along rivers and canals, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
There have been 92 cases of erosion this year, nearly equal to the number in the whole of last year, involving a total length of 3,600 metres.
Most rivers and canals have been affected, with the scale growing larger, causing damage to houses, roads and other infrastructure.
The Vàm Vé River in Gò Công Tây District; Nguyễn Tấn Thành Canal, Thuộc Nhiêu – Cầu Sao Canal in Châu Thành District, the Ba Rày River in Cai Lậy District, and the Cái Bè River and Canal 8 in Cái Bè District are among those that regularly suffer from severe erosion.
Nguyễn Văn Mẫn, the director of the department, said both human and natural factors are to blame.
Weak banks in some places, the impact of tides, junctions causing strong flows, and boasts are among the major causes, he elaborated.
Illegal construction along water bodies and illegal sand mining in rivers and canals are also to blame, he said.
To prevent the erosion, the department has undertaken construction and other works appropriate for each locality.
The non-construction works include providing financial support to localities to enhance public awareness of erosion and take proactive measures like planting trees and grass along rivers and canals and water hyacinths near their banks.
In the province, roads are often built along banks, and so any erosion also damages them, affecting transport.
The province has set up a board to manage irrigation and transport infrastructure and also take measures to prevent erosion.
It has banned individuals and organisations from encroaching on safe corridors along river and canal banks and carrying out activities that could cause erosion.
It has reinforced eroded river and canal banks with rock and cement embankments, and in other places used tree trunks and soil to prevent erosion.
The province has given localities nearly VNĐ69 billion (US$3 million) to repair 83 spots severely eroded so far this year. District funds are also used for the task.
In case of severe erosion that could be expensive to fix, localities should ask it for funds, the province People’s Committee has said.
In 2016 – 19 nearly VNĐ232 billion ($10 million) was spent to repair 415 sites, according to the department. – VNS