Erosion in Mekong Delta worsens

VietNamNet Bridge – Houses, production land, protective forests and embankment works have been swept away by sea water, and some fear the Ca Mau Cape disappear in the future because of continued landslides.



Erosion, Mekong Delta



Dr. To Van Thanh from the Southern Water Resources Institute said reports showed that sea had been encroaching on land at eastern, western and Nam Can estuaries.

A report from the Ca Mau provincial People’s Committee released in April showed that 40 kilometers of the coastline have suffered from landslides, while the most serious situation was seen in the western breakwater area, Ganh Hao estuary, Dam Doi district, the Ca Mau Cape bioreverse and Khai Long Beach. In some places, the sea has encroached on the mainland by more than 100 meters.

In Tien Giang Province, the sea waves have been gradually “corroding” coastal forests, the “forest belt” that protected the sea breakwater and prevented erosion.

In the past, there were thick forests, but they are getting thinner. In some places, there is only coastline and sea, with no trees and forests.

A landslide in Duyen Hai district, a coastal locality of Tra Vinh, has also caused problems. Before “attacking” the mainland, the sea waves had “eaten” more than 10 hectares of the protective forests.

In 2013, more than two kilometers of sea embankment in the communes of Truong Long Hoa, Dan Thanh and Hiep Thanh were washed away.

Many of the sections of the 72-kilometer sea breakwater in Vinh Chau and Cu Lao Dung Districts in Soc Trang province have eroded.

Soft works

When asked about the solutions to the problems, Jake Brunner, the coordinator of the Mekong Program belonging to IUCN, the international nature conservation organization, noted that in many countries, solid construction works to prevent sea waves and rising water levels have been gradually replaced with soft works.

Dr. Luong Van Thanh, a renowned scientist from the Institute of Marine Engineering, said that in 2007, when discovering the encroachment of sea waves on the mainland, Ca Mau provincial authorities decided to build embankment works but they were not the best choice.

The institute has instead initiated a “soft embankment” solution, which according to Thanh, has been effective and affordable.

“The solution has been applied in Ca Mau province on a trial basis and shows satisfactory results,” Thanh said. “The erosion only occurs on the surface, while deep erosion is not seen anymore.”

He also said that modern technology solutions would save the Ca Mau Cape from strong sea waves and damaging erosion.

Dat Viet

Erosion, Mekong Delta
 
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