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​Fear haunts residents behind eroded dyke in southern Vietnam

Friday, March 16, 2018, 19:02 GMT+7
​Fear haunts residents behind eroded dyke in southern Vietnam
A child stands near the ruins of a house in Go Cong Dong District, Tien Giang Province, southern Vietnam. The building collapsed as sea waves battered the shore, and the owner had to move elsewhere. Photo: Tuoi Tre

A number of inhabitants in a southern Vietnamese region have been living in constant worry about personal safety and homelessness as the dyke stretching before their houses has been destroyed or stands to break in the increasing absence of trees protecting it from sea waves.

Nearly 50 families in Go Cong Dong District, Tien Giang Province, have been beset by the destruction of a 1.5-kilometer-long strip of embankment caused by sea waves several years ago.

Many residents moved to a better place after the event, but others are still staying in the land along the dyke since they have no spot for the relocation.

They have built makeshift rickety houses which can be damaged by the sea at any time.

Another portion of the embankment in Go Cong Dong is prone to break since its protection forest, meant to prevent erosion effects, has disappeared, leaving the wall bare to sea waves.

Part of the protection forest in Go Cong Dong District, Tien Giang Province, southern Vietnam, has disappeared. Concrete slabs are placed in its place. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Part of the protection forest in Go Cong Dong District, Tien Giang Province, southern Vietnam, has disappeared. Concrete slabs are placed in its place. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The situation urged the local government to construct a dyke about 300 meters long in Tan Dien Commune, Go Cong District, in 2018, said Nguyen Thien Phap, head of the provincial water resource department.

He said that the local protection forests’ area has decreased more than twofold, from 1,073 hectares in 2016 to 499 hectares this year, and many forests that still exist tend to be completely lost.

Dykes are crucially important to local agriculture, which relies on fresh water. But protection measures have so far been very costly.

“VND4 billion [US$176,000] is spent on every 100 meters of embankment. So the amount of money for 20 kilometers will be incredibly large,” Phap said.

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Thai Xuan / Tuoi Tre News

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