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Dykes blown off, people live in fear

Having been settling in the western area of the southern region for the last decades, local residents still cannot lead peaceful lives because their houses may blown off at any time, making them homeless.

VietNamNet Bridge – Having been settling in the western area of the southern region for the last decades, local residents still cannot lead peaceful lives because their houses may blown off at any time, making them homeless.

 

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Mrs Xe and her grandchildren

Mr. and Mrs. Xe’s house is located at the crest of the land in the contiguous area between the mainland and the sea. This is called the “lucky house” in the Cai Cam hamlet, because the house can receive the last rays of sunlight of the day from the west sea.

However, the owners of the house are not lucky. Mr. and Mrs. Xe have been living on the Phu Tan land area in Ca Mau province for the last many years, but the things they have saved for their whole lives are not enough to ensure a happy life for their children and grandchildren.

They have always been living in fear, because they have to struggle with too many problems in their lives. Especially, they have been usually attacked by the water rising and the floods.

The six children of Mrs. Xe all got married and have their children already. The grandchildren stay with Xe every day. Xe is not only respectful to them like many other grandmothers, but she is also the saver of her children’s lives. When floods rushed down suddenly, it was Xe who brought the grandchildren away to escape from the floods.

Every year, Xe works as the “babysitter” for the grandparents once, in the water rise season, when her children leave her grandchildren with her.

The house where Xe and her grandchildren are living is the fourth one installed in recent years. The previous three houses, and the water jars, have been swept away by the floods.

When reporters came to visit Xe’s house, they saw with their eyes a bamboo bridge installed right inside the house. Xe said the bridge helps her and other family members move around when the floods come. It was built last April with the support of the neighbors and her son-in-laws

“Previously, my home was on the edge of the river. However, the house and all the things in the house were swept away by the floods,” Xe said.

“The floods rushed down at midnight. Everything was swept away and nothing could be saved. Only my children could carry away a wardrobe,” she added.

On the land area where Xe and her grandchildren live, there was no solid house. Local residents always get ready for an evacuation, when floods rush down. They do not intend to build solid houses, because they would have to leave the houses one day, when the sea encroaches more on the mainland.

Local residents, pointing to the deserted land, said there were houses, shrimp ponds and the forests, but they all have been swallowed by the sea waves.

The residents here said they repeatedly have to build new houses. When the third house of Mr. and Mrs. Xe broke down, they decided to call for the assistance of the commune’s authorities. When the fourth house was built, they received VND1 million from the local authorities.

Xe said she is lucky because she can receive the help from neighbors, who give timber to build house, from the war old veterans’ association which creates fresh water source. The support by the local authorities helps Mr. Xe ease his pains from the stomach cancer.

Thien Nhien

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