Anti-landslide projects in Mekong Delta called costly and ineffective

The Mekong Delta has spent over VND16 trillion, some US$690 million, on anti-landslide projects over the past 10 years, though there remain still more than 560 areas prone to landslides in the region, stretching 834 kilometers.

Anti-landslide projects in Mekong Delta called costly and ineffective
An area affected by landslides in the Mekong Delta

Speaking at a meeting on landslide-prevention work in the Mekong Delta with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and leaders of the region’s cities and provinces last week, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said there are still 52 areas affected by coastal landslides, stretching 268 kilometers, and 512 areas affected by riverside landslides, stretching 566 kilometers.

Additionally, 59 areas stretching 103 kilometers suffer from extremely serious landslides.

Cuong stressed that in 2018 and 2019 alone, more than VND4 trillion has been spent on anti-landslide projects in the Mekong Delta, while some VND4.4 trillion will be disbursed in the near future.

Noticeably, landslides in the region have occurred more frequently and affected larger areas since 2010, threatening the safety of the public, as well as property.

Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong cited a report by the ministry as saying that landslides and soil erosion destroy 300 hectares of land and mangrove forests each year.

According to some experts, two main reasons causing serious landslides in the Mekong Delta include illegal sand mining and upstream hydropower dams that block mud, sand and alluvium from flowing downstream to the delta.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said the Government has always supported the development of the delta, especially in preventing and dealing with landslides.

 

“However, the Mekong Delta is still facing many difficulties caused by landslides,” he said.

The Prime Minister asked local authorities to raise people’s awareness about preventing landslides by advising them not to build houses and other facilities near the coast lines or river banks.

He also required the use of advanced technology in dealing with landslides. “International and local scientists should work together to find solutions to landslides,” he said.

He also asked authorities to submit sufficient data and documents on the Mekong Delta’s landslide situation in October 2019 so the Government could provide adequate anti-landslide investment for the region in 2020. SGT

Trung Chanh

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