Hoi An dredges sea sand to shore up local beach

By Dac Thanh   July 16, 2021 | 06:00 pm PT
More than 97,400 cu.m of sand is being dredged from the sea area in front of the Cua Dai Beach in an attempt to repair severe erosion damage.

The work began late last month and will last for 70 days.

The Vietnam Inland Waterways Administration (VIWA) is dredging an area two km (1.24 miles) long, 60 meters wide and 3.5 meters deep.

The sand scooped out from the sea will be placed directly on Cua Dai Beach, which has suffered severe erosion for years.

It has been estimated that the beach has been losing between 10 and 20 meters of land to erosion every year for several years now.


A barge dredges sand from the sea area off Hoi An, July 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh.

Le Cong Kha, a local resident, said thousands of fishing boats used to sail through the channel in front of the Cua Dai Beach but in recent years, the sand washed away from the beach has ended up along the channel, causing vessels to get stuck and damaged.

"We have long wished for the administration to dredge this channel so that boats can move in and out smoothly," he said.

Le Tri Thanh, chairman of Quang Nam Province, which is home to Hoi An, said the dredging project, invested in by the VIWA, is doing a favor for both the fishermen and the beach. It offers a clear channel for vessels to operate easily and at the same time, brings back sand that had been swept away from the Cua Dai Beach.


Sand dredged from the sea is dumped on Cua Dai Beach, July 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh.

The 7.5 km long Cua Dai beach, which hosts a range of businesses, service and residential facilities, has suffered severe erosion since 2000.

Several revetment projects worth around VND184 billion in total have been implemented by Quang Nam from 2010 onwards, but these have not succeeded in completely stopping the erosion caused by rains and storms of the years. Many businesses including restaurants and resorts have suffered, as a result.

The ancient town of Hoi An, one of Vietnam's top tourist attractions, has been suffering the curse of erosion for many years. Much of the town is two meters or less above the sea level, making it vulnerable to rising sea levels and storm surges, according to a joint report by the United Nations Environment Program, UNESCO and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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