Khanh Hoa’s Can River damaged by sand mines

Last update 09:20 | 03/06/2017

A number of companies dredging sand along the Cạn River in the central province of Khanh Hoa’s Cam Ranh City since 2015 have caused landslides and put the lives of local residents in danger.

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Illegal sand mining on rivers increases risk of landslides to riverside residental areas. 

A reporter from the  Labour newspaper witnessed trucks working at the lower reaches of the Can River, near Hiep Thanh Village, Cam Thinh Dong Commune.

Sand was gathered into large heaps after being sucked from the river bed.

Since the Trung Hậu Investment and Development Trading Services Joint Stock Company, the Đại Cát Trading and Services Co Ltd and the Cát Khánh Investment and Services Co Ltd were licensed to exploit sand from the Cạn River three years ago, the river has suffered an increasing amount of damage. Landslides occurred along the river.

The licences were signed by former chairman of the Khánh Hòa Province People’s Committee Nguyễn Chiến Thắng.

Living besides the Cạn River for several dozen years and earning his living from coconut trees and chili plants, Đoàn Quan Đang, 49, said that the Cạn River used to be very nice.

But since the activities of the enterprises, landslides have become more and more frequent and the damage has worsened.

Now the area affected by the landslides reached several kilometres in length, he said.

Đang lost about three metres of land, and several others are facing high risk of being swept away.

Lê Văn Trung, deputy chairman of the Cam Thịnh Đông Commune Fatherland Front Committee, said that local authorities had their hands tied, and help was needed from the press and the higher authorities.

Trung said that five mango trees he had planted in 1982 with strong roots had been swept away.

Trung said that since last year, different inspection teams had checked and issued warnings to the enterprises, but could not solve the problem entirely, as the enterprises had received valid licences from provincial authorities.

One of the most serious problems, Trung said, was that the part of the river near the Cạn Bridge had been significantly damaged.

“If the enterprises continue their work, the bridge’s foundations will become unstable and be at risk of collapse,” he said.

Deputy chairman of the Cam Thịnh Đông Commune People’s Committee Bạch Văn Sửu said that local authorities did not have any benefits from the sand exploitation.

Even local residents see little benefit from the activity, as the companies involved sell the sand for construction work. Residents turn to local authorities when the ensuing landslides destroy their plants.

A report by the Cam Thịnh Đông Commmune People’s Committee released this year said that the enterprises did not follow regulations on dredging, including the duration, location and depth, causing landslides along the river that seriously impact residents’ agricultural and forestry land.

According to the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment’s inspection on May 17 last year, the Đại Cát Trading and Services Co Ltd dredged sand outside the area permitted.

Receiving reports from residents and commune authorities, on March 20 this year, deputy chairwoman of the Cam Ranh City People’s Council Võ Thị Kim Thoa signed a letter asking the Cam Ranh City People’s Committee and the Department of Natural Resources and Environment to strengthen inspections and punish any cases of violations.

The Lao Động (Labour) newspaper’s correspondent tried to contact Võ Tấn Thái, director of the provincial Department of Natural Resouces and Environment, but he was unavailable for comment.


This entry was posted in Môi trường - Environment, Nha Trang - Khánh Hòa, Sand mining - hút cát, Sạt lở bờ 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 on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( 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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