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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Mekong Delta needs huge funds to combat erosion

By T. Dao

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HCMC – Mekong Delta provinces are seeking trillions of Vietnam dong for projects aimed at mitigating damage caused by severe river and coastal erosion.

At the end of May, riverbank erosion in Binh Thuy District of Can Tho City caused 10 houses to partially collapse into the river, local media reported.

Authorities responded by relocating affected residents and securing the area. The People’s Committee of Can Tho City has requested VND100 billion from the central Government to fund an anti-erosion project along the Binh Thuy riverbanks.

Since early this year, three erosion incidents in Bac Lieu Province’s Gia Rai town have disrupted local life and production. To address these erosions and tidal surges along an 82.3-kilometer stretch, the provincial government has requested VND3.66 trillion from the central Government.

Ben Tre Province said erosion is affecting 13 kilometers of riverbank and 8.5 kilometers of coastline. The most affected areas include Ba Tri, Binh Dai, Thanh Phu, and several islets. The province needs over VND1 trillion for building protective infrastructure.

Ben Tre is currently working on two major anti-erosion projects in Chau Thanh and Ba Tri districts, with a total investment of over VND300 billion from central budget reserves.

Tra Vinh Province identifies 48 critical erosion sites along 214 kilometers of riverbank and coastline. The estimated cost for addressing riverbank erosion is VND4.3 trillion and for coastal erosion is VND1.5 trillion. While several measures are in place, more funds are needed from the central Government, said Le Van Han, chairman of Tra Vinh Province.

Climate change and extreme weather patterns are exacerbating erosion in the Mekong Delta. Economic development activities, including illegal construction and excessive sand and gravel extraction, also contribute to the problem.

The central Government has allocated VND4 trillion from the 2023 budget reserves to support anti-erosion projects in the region, with long-term strategies including relocating houses and unauthorized structures, and managing sand and groundwater extraction.

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