Mekong Delta faces uncertain future as landslides increase
VietNamNet Bridge - In recent years, the landslides in western Ca Mau province have become more serious. The sea has not only encroached on forests, but also eaten into farmland.


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In the coastal dyke section in Hamlet 11 of Khanh Tien commune,strips of protective forests have been cleared with only a few mangrove trees left. The sea dyke is in critical danger. 

Standing on a small piece of land, about 20 square meters, Ba Nho, a local man, said he had more than one hectare of land, but most of the land had been ‘eaten’ by the sea.

“My son had to relocate his home some months ago because of the strong waves. And I have to leave in some days,” Nho said.

Nho’s family is from Kien Giang province. They bought the land for cultivation 20 years ago. Prior to 2010, forest land and shrimp ponds extended to the sea more than one kilometer. People could live well on the forest and aquaculture.

In recent years, the landslides in western Ca Mau province have become more serious. The sea has not only encroached on forests, but also eaten into farmland.

But now, as the coastal residential areas are in danger, many families have to move to other areas for settlement. Local people are leading hard lives, and many children have had to drop out of school.

Nho said the landslides have been occurring in the last 10 years, while the protective forests have been damaged by sea waves. Since Nho’s shrimp pond has been cleared by the waves, his family has lost its major source of income. The only valuable asset of his family now is a small boat, the essential tool for Mekong Delta residents to travel on waterways.

Pham Van Cuong, a local man in hamlet 11, said though people know about the risks, they still have to stay because they need to earn a living. In 2016, Cuong’s house was still protected by a 40-50 meter wide forest. However, as the forest has disappeared, his house is just steps away from the sea waves. Cuong fears that his house may be blown away at any time.

In the past, when the forest existed, he could earn a living by catching ba khia (a species of small crab - Sesarma mederi) to sell for money to fund his child’s study.

However, as the forest no longer exists, his elder daughter has to give up study because Cuong doesn’t have money to buy books for the child.

“The younger child is just two years old. But I am sure his life would be like mine. Because I don’t have money to send him to school,” he said.


RELATED NEWS

Mekong Delta faces increased risk of landslides as sediment loss continues

Ca Mau province losses 450 hectares of coastal land each year


Dat Viet

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