mekongeye – Residents of the Mekong Delta are seeing houses tumble into rivers and livelihoods disappear due to erosion driven by sand mining
Dinh Tuyen – July 5, 2022
Editor’s note: In light of increasingly volatile seasons, the unquantified effects from hydropower, and continued sand mining, mainland Southeast Asia finds itself combating ever more mercurial sandbanks. For the highly populated Mekong Delta region of Vietnam, homes being washed away has become a regular facet of the wet season. But the effects of overdevelopment on the Mekong are felt across the Mekong basin. In Cambodia, the recent consequences have been stark: in May, Vannak Si and Bun Thoeun Srey Leak, both 12, died when a bank gave way in Kandal province, on the border with Vietnam. As the land beneath river-dwellers’ feet becomes ever more unstable, the sand mining and concrete industry defy solutions, as mainland Southeast Asia continues with breakneck development.
When a riverbank subsided and gave way four years ago, Tran Van Bi’s house collapsed into a river in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Everything his family had accumulated over 32 years was gone in an instant.