HCM CITY (VNS) — Land erosion along rivers and canals at 38 sites in HCM City is threatening the lives of local residents and damaging property.
Tran The Ky, deputy director of the city's Department of Transport, was quoted by Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper as saying that the city had 38 erosion-prone sites along rivers and canals, mostly in District 2, District 12, and Binh Thanh, Thu Duc, Nha Be and Can Gio districts.
Of the sites, 18 are especially dangerous and 11 were dangerous, he said.
Nha Be District led the districts in the number of especially dangerous erosion-prone sites (nine sites), followed by Binh Thanh (three sites), he said.
In July, serious erosion occurred in Nha Be's Phuoc Kieng Commune, causing 500 sq.m of farmland belonging to 10 households to collapse into the river. Houses near the river were also affected.
Erosion is also occurring on the left bank of the Kinh Lo – Tac Muong Lon T-junction in Nha Be's Hiep Phuoc Commune.
Residents living along the Phuoc Long Bridge, downstream to Rach Tom Canal's T-junction in Nha Be District, said they feared erosion would destroy their homes.
In Can Gio District, there are several erosion-prone sites, including the Binh Khanh ferry station and along the Soai Rap River where many households live.
In District 2's Giong Ong To Bridge area, hundreds of households live along the riverbanks without any protective embankments.
Erosion along river and canals is expected to continue until the rainy season ends, according to the HCM City Inland Waterway Authority.
The building of houses and other construction works encroaching on rivers has caused changes in river flow, leading to erosion. Illegal sand mining is another cause.
In recent years, the municipal People's Committee has approved hundreds of erosion-prevention projects but many of them have been implemented slowly for several reasons, including capital shortage and site-clearance problems.
The Thanh Da embankment project, for instance, began in 2007, but has only completed section 1.1 and section 1.3.
Section 1.2 and section 1.4 , which were scheduled to be completed in June, are only 70 per cent finished.
The municipal People's Committee has ordered departments and agencies to speed up erosion-prevention projects and inspect illegal construction projects on river banks and canals, and illegal sand mining in rivers.