Gov’t deals with relocation of residents in eroded areas

Numerous islanders in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta have lost their lives, relatives, houses, land and other belongings because of rampant soil erosion that has caused many islands to disappear and difficulties for authorities in Mekong delta provinces in relocation for residents in erosion-plagued villages

Erosion in My Hoi Dong Commune (photo: SGGP)

Erosion in My Hoi Dong Commune (photo: SGGP)

Many locals in Vam Xoay sea mouth in the Mekong delta province of Ca Mau left their houses to safer shelters but in the land still many households live.

The path leading to Vam Xoay mouth was destroyed by sea waves. People had to make bridge to travel from this house to another house. Ms. Ly Thi May in Kenh Dao Dong village said that people must send their kids to relatives in the land because of fearing that kids will fall into the sea.

Though the danger of erosion is still lurking, locals showed disinterest to live in resettled areas which the government has provided. Mr. Le Van Tuoi said his family members must stay here because of earning lives. He feared not to have job in resettled areas.

Resettled area in Huong Mai canal in Ca Mau province was built six years ago for relocation of 180 households but many people lived there for a time then they moved to another places.

Tens of houses in My Hoi Dong Commune in Cho Moi District of Mekong Delta Province of An Giang in last April fell into the Hau River due to a landslide, panicking local residents; accordingly, the government was quick to remove 100 households out of the dangerous area.
However, the construction progress is slow so people had to live in pagoda and schools.

Tired of staying in makeshift shelters, people returned to old house despite danger of erosion.

As per the statistic, the Mekong delta governments have to remove nearly 500,000 households from eroded areas; yet, not many households were evacuated because of lack of expense, land shortage and livelihood-related matters.

According to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Ca Mau province, before 2015, the province approved to spend on building 35 residential blocks for around 13,870 households.
However, the province is facing difficulties in land fund and expense; accordingly, just 1,000 households had been so far relocated in safe places.

From now on to 2025, Ca Mau Province needs VND1,200  billion to evacuate nearly 5,700  households in erosion-prone areas such as in sea and river embankment or gates to new residential blocks.
Beforehand, Ca Mau province proposed the central government to provide aid of VND120 billion for the plan of relocation of 500 households in Vam Xoay sea gate and Rach Goc sea gate in Ngoc Hien District.

Experts predicted that by 2050, Mekong delta will evacuate around one million people because of continued erosion, flooding, and drought.
Resettlement is beyond the local government’s reach. Subsequently, the government and related agencies should adopt measure to soon construct residential blocks in the region. 

Deputy director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Ca Mau To Quoc Nam said that most people in eroded areas are short of growing land, money and they have no stable jobs; hence, infrastructure in resettled areas should be completed.
The government must take capital from other program and projects to back residents especially supporting production and providing vocational training. Once people have job, they will stay in resettled areas longer.

Meantime, deputy chairman of People’s Committee in Dong Thap province Nguyen Thanh Hung  said that the local government has petitioned for an aid of VND82 billion taken from the national program to build 11/29 residential blocks for the period 2016 – 2020 to help evacuation of 2,090 households in erosion-prone areas in six districts.

However, at present, building these block is facing difficulties for lack of capital and slow progress.

By staff writers – Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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