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Mekong Delta province asks gov't for $41 mln to combat erosion

By Sen    September 24, 2019 | 01:44 am PT
Mekong Delta province asks gov't for $41 mln to combat erosion
Work to repair an eroded section of the coast in the Mekong Delta's Ca Mau Province in August 2019. Photo by Giao Thong Newspaper.
The southernmost Ca Mau Province is seeking VND947 billion ($41 million) from the government for emergency works to prevent erosion, which is increasingly threatening lives.

The province said it is short of funds for the task, Giao Thong newspaper reported.

The erosion is worsening both along the coast and rivers, especially in Dam Doi, Nam Can and Ngoc Hien Districts.

According to the Ca Mau People's Committee, in these places 20 meters of land fall into the sea every month on average, even 50 meters in some places.

Last month an embankment on the west coast was breached following strong winds and waves and high tides.

Ca Mau had then asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for VND700 billion ($30.2 million) to build embankments to check erosion.

Along rivers, 27 spots measuring a total of 38 kilometers have been washed away.

The province has spent VND1 trillion ($43.2 million) to reinforce 28 kilometers vulnerable to erosion, mainly on the west coast.

Land erosion has become a frequent occurrence in many coastal and riverine provinces over the last decade, and hundreds of houses have been destroyed.

The problem is especially acute in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam's food basket, which grows half of its rice.

Climate change, sand exploitation and upstream dam construction in the Mekong, which affects the river's flow, are among the causes, officials said.

The delta is losing 500 hectares of land to erosion every year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. By 2050, the lives of an estimated one million people will be directly affected by this.

The Ministry of Construction last year made a proposal to build concrete barriers to protect 44,800 families in the region from river erosion.

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