Sand mining destroying rivers in Central Highlands, causing landslides

Last update 08:10 | 01/06/2017

VietNamNet Bridge – Uncontrolled rampant sand exploitation is seriously affecting Krong Ana and Krong No, two large rivers in the Central Highlands. 

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The river current has changed and hundreds of hectares of land have been lost.

Krong Ana (mother river) and Krong No (father river) are important to the economic and cultural life of the people in Dak Lak and Dak Nong. But they are in danger.

The Krong No river section which runs across Krong No district in Dak Nong province, has been a ‘hot spot’ of illegal sand exploitation for many years.

Uncontrolled rampant sand exploitation is seriously affecting Krong Ana and Krong No, two large rivers in the Central Highlands. 

The district’s authorities believe that uncontrolled sand exploitation is the major cause of the landslide of 60 hectares of agricultural land.

Bui Duc Han in Buon Choah commune complained that his family has lost two hectares of land and had to evacuate four times because the land has been gradually drifting into the river.

Ho Doan in Dak Nang commune has 2.5 hectares of coffee trees on Krong No riverside, a part of which has drifted into the river. Hundreds of other households in Krong No district have also been affected.

“Just on a short river section of 5 kilometers, 4-5 enterprises are exploiting sand. It is the reason behind the landslide,” Doan said, adding that though the reason is obvious, the problem still cannot be settled.

The sand overexploitation has also led to the same problems with Krong Ana in Krong Bong and Lak districts of Dak Lak province.

In Krong Bong, the report of district authorities showed that the landslide has occurred in nine communes. The landslide is especially serious in the commune of Yang Reh with 48,994 square meters affected, Cu Kty (18,408 square meters) and Hoa Tan (1,680 square meters).

As the local authorities turn a deaf ear to the complaints, local people have to act to protect the rivers and their land.

Sam Tuan Anh in Dak Lieng commune of Lak district said he fought a sand miner who refused to stop mining and is being investigated.

A man in Mlieng hamlet said the vessels that suck sand from the riverbed appear at 3-4 pm every day. “Local people and sand miners have fought each other several times. They (sand miners) said they have licenses to exploit sand,” he said.

Nguyen Van Thiem from the Dak Lak provincial Department of Natural Resources and the Environment confirmed that the provincial authorities have granted sand exploitation licenses to 16 enterprises, which mine sand from 6-18 hours every day.

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This entry was posted in Dak Lak - Buôn Ma Thuột, Dak Nong and tagged , , , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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