16/05/2017 14:58 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Deputy PM urges Mekong Delta to set forth scenarios for landslide response

An Giang, May 16 (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung urged has localities in the Mekong Delta to devise measures to cope with landslides in the context of climate change. 
The Deputy PM made the request at a working session with officials from ministries, agencies and provinces in the Mekong Delta in An Giang province on May 15 to review recent landslides and erosion in the region.
He suggested the localities cultivate other plants and shift economic models as the Mekong Delta is suffering serious drought, saltwater intrusion and landslides as impacts of climate change.
Deputy PM Dung asked the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Natural Resources and Environment to team up with other ministries and agencies to study currents and the amount of alluvium in the Tien and Hau rivers.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment should review the exploitation of sand and pebbles, he said, asking the Ministries of Construction, Planning and Investment, and Finance to join hands to implement projects resettling landslide-affected residents.
Meanwhile, the localities were requested to protect the lives and property of people and relocate households away from landslide-prone areas.
At the working session, Tran Quang Hoai, Deputy Director of the General Department of Irrigation, said the Mekong Delta has more than 500 landslide-prone spots with many serious cases recently occurring in Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, An Giang and Dong Thap.
The root causes of the problem lie with the illegal exploitation of sand, pebbles, underground water and other natural resources in upper rivers, and sea-level rises, he said.
Chairman of the An Giang provincial People’s Committee Vuong Binh Thanh said 162km out of 400 km of river banks in the locality are vulnerable to landslides.
Recollecting the landslide in My Hoi Dong Commune, Cho Moi district, on April 22 that made 14 houses and two house floors fall into the Hau River and forced 107 households to relocate, Thanh proposed the Government provide the locality 116 billion VND (5.1 million USD) to deal with the consequences of the incident.
Vice Chairman of the Dong Thap People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Hung also reported that up to 13 landslides occurred in the locality so far this year in Hong Ngu, Thanh Binh and Cao Lanh districts, and Hong Ngu town.
Landslides are threatening 227 local households in Dong Thap, he said, requesting 72.8 billion VND (3.2 million USD) from the Government to handle the problem.
Officials from Ca Mau, Bac Lieu and Soc Trang provinces and Can Tho City said that each year, localities in the Mekong Delta lose hundreds of hectares of land along river banks and the seaside due to landslides.
Thousands of households face accommodation problems, they said, noting that localities have difficulties in finance as well as forecasting and assessing natural disaster impacts.