‘It was an awful waste of the national budget’
Multiple portions of a costly revetment in a south-central Vietnamese province have washed away, jeopardizing the dyke it was meant to protect and sparking the ire of local residents.
The concrete revetment in Hoai Nhon District, Binh Dinh Province, is showing signs of extreme degradation, with several sections of the rampart damaged and scattered along the nearby sands after becoming dislodged allegedly by intense waves in the area.
Cracks are developing in the sections that remain, foreshadowing a continuation of the damage.
Installed only two years ago, steel wires are already poking through the 4.5 meter high, 2.4 kilometer long structure.
The government allocated VND80 billion (US$3.5 million) to build the structure in order to prevent coastal erosion along a dyke meant to safeguard local lives and property and facilitate tourism in the area.
Three sections of the revetment, collectively 152 meters long, became displaced just three months after its completion in September 2016.
Another 130-meter-long section became dislodged in early 2017 and an additional 80 meters was completely washed away in December 2017.
District authorities have already submitted a proposal to begin VND10 billion ($440,000) worth of repair work.
Cao Thanh Thuong, chairman of the Hoai Nhon People’s Committee, attributed the degradation to rain and flooding, sea level rise, and a strong beating from huge waves.
“It’s an awful waste of the national budget to build a multibillion-dong revetment that is now in pieces. If people say big waves are to blame for the robust structure, why did they pour billions into the sea in the first place,” said a local man.
The government is investigating whether the destruction was caused by natural forces, a poor design, or faulty construction, said Nguyen Huu Vui, deputy director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The result of the investigation will likely be announced at the end of this month, he added.