Mekong Delta protective forests wiped away by rising waters

Last update 07:20 | 14/04/2017
VietNamNet Bridge – Thousands of households along the coast in Ca Mau province have been living in fear as hundreds of meters of protective forests have been lost to the sea each year.

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Nguyen Cong Tuan of Dat Mui commune recently drove reporters to the Vam Xoay seaport, about two kilometers away from the central area of the commune.

“The sea here is compared with an ‘evil genius’. Strong big waves can sweep away houses and properties and threaten our lives any time,” he said, pointing to the seaport, where big waves were hitting the shore and roaring.

The vast forests which served as shields to protect Dat Mui residents and their houses no longer exist. Mac Van Thanh, who has spent half of his life on Dat Mui land, complained that he and the locals are afraid that landslides can occur.

Nguyen Van Quoc, a local official, said well-off people now buy land in safe places and build solid houses, while poor people have to stay in rivers basins.  They live on fishing and have to relocate their houses several times a year to avoid landslides.

Thousands of households along the coast in Ca Mau province have been living in fear as hundreds of meters of protective forests have been lost to the sea each year.

According to UNDP, Vietnam is one of five countries in the world to suffer most from  climate change. Vietnam’s Mekong Delta in general and Ca Mau province in particular is facing big challenges brought about climate change, threatening the development of the region.

Deputy director of the Ca Mau agriculture department To Quoc Nam said the landslides in coastal areas are unpredictable. The landslides occur on both the western and eastern coast, which eats into the mainland 20-25 meters each year, or even 50 meters in some places.

“We are especially concerned about the landslide on the east coast which threatens the lives and property of thousands of households,” he said.

“In early days of February, due to the influence of the Northeast monsoon and high tides, landslides occurred seriously at many sections,” he said.

A survey found 48,000 meters of the east coast suffered from landslides at a dangerous level and 24,500 meters at an extremely dangerous level.

In some areas in Tam Giang Dong and Dat Mui communes, landslides have eaten protective forests 50-80 meters into the mainland with a length of 10,000 meters.

The Ca Mau provincial authorities have asked to disburse capital under the program on adapting to climate change, so they can build embankments and plant forests.

“We need VND500 billion to build embankments and restore protective forests. In the immediate time, we need VND200 billion to urgently build construction works to prevent landslides,” Nam said.RELATED NEWS

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