Province requests $30 mln to build anti-erosion embankments

By Hoang Hanh   August 23, 2019 | 07:00 pm PT
Province requests $30 mln to build anti-erosion embankments
Erosion is seen along the west coast of Vietnam's southernmost province Ca Mau. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Minh.
Ca Mau Province is seeking VND700 billion ($30.1 million) from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to build embankments to check erosion.

It has first asked for VND54 billion ($2.3 million) in 2019-20 to build embankments in Nam Can Town, according to the province's People’s Committee.

Fifty seven kilometers of the southernmost province’s west coast have been eroded, leaving the area vulnerable to breaches. Over 23 kilometers of the east coast are similarly vulnerable and require reinforcement to protect people’s property and infrastructure.

Over 8,800 hectares of land including forests have been lost to the sea in the last 11 years, authorities said. Some 80-100 meters of protective forests are lost every year due to erosion.

Not only coastal areas, but also riverine areas suffer from erosion, mainly in Dam Doi, Nam Can and Ngoc Hien Districts. The province currently has 27 eroded spots along rivers measuring a total of 38 kilometers.

Ca Mau authorities have spent around VND1 trillion ($43.1 million) to fix or reinforce 28 kilometers of areas vulnerable to erosion, mainly on the west coast.

Earlier this month a 350m section of an embankment on the province’s west coast was breached following heavy rains, strong winds, waves, and high tides.

Land erosion has become a frequent occurrence in many coastal and riverine provinces in Vietnam over the last decade, claiming hundreds of houses. It has become a particularly acute problem in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam's food basket, which grows half of its rice and accounts for 90 percent of its grain exports.

Climate change, unchecked sand mining and dam construction in the upstream reaches of the Mekong are among the causes, officials said.

The delta is losing 500 hectares of land to sea and river erosion every year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

It is estimated that by 2050 the lives of one million people in the delta will be directly affected by this.

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

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