Anti-erosion embankment suffers repeat deterioration in Mekong Delta

Created 22 April 2022
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A $4.7-million embankment built along a Mekong branch to prevent erosion has been washed away thrice in the past three years.

Anti-erosion embankment suffers repeat deterioration in Mekong Delta

Anti-erosion embankment suffers repeat deterioration in Mekong Delta

An embankment of 850 meters long was built in 2016 on the bank of the Tien River, a tributary of the Mekong, in Thanh Binh District of Dong Thap Province to protect 250 households in Binh Thanh Commune from erosion.

In 2019, when it was near completion, a 40-meter-long section of the embankment collapsed into the river. The incident cost Dong Thap VND7 billion.

Later, the province had to spend almost VND19 billion on an extra project to deal with a pit at the foot of the embankment to prevent further erosion.

Anti-erosion embankment suffers repeat deterioration in Mekong Delta

The entire embankment, which cost VND109 billion ($4.7 million), was built by Hanoi-based Nhan Binh Joint Stock Company and completed in 2020.

But it eroded a second time in early 2021. The eroded section stretched for almost 60 meters.

The reason was identified as the "complicated topography" of the river section and weather impacts.

However, the Construction Department also blamed the project's consultancy unit for failing to estimate the subsidence rate. In addition, supervision was inadequate and as a result, the construction unit had failed to follow the original design when filling up the pit at the foot of the embankment, it said.

Anti-erosion embankment suffers repeat deterioration in Mekong Delta

In early April, the embankment was eroded once more at exactly the section that was washed away in 2021.

Anti-erosion embankment suffers repeat deterioration in Mekong Delta

Rising 4.5 meters high, the embankment was built of reinforced concrete while the pit at its foot was filled with sandbags.

Anti-erosion embankment suffers repeat deterioration in Mekong Delta

After the latest erosion, the contractor this month had started preparing building materials to fix the embankment.

Anti-erosion embankment suffers repeat deterioration in Mekong Delta

Playing with his three-year-old son, a local named Nguyen Van Hau said: "We thought the embankment would protect us, but it turned out that the risk is now even higher."

Anti-erosion embankment suffers repeat deterioration in Mekong Delta

In most cases, residents along the embankment have given up hope on the project, saying that they have no idea when the erosion would finally end.

Anti-erosion embankment suffers repeat deterioration in Mekong Delta

Le Quoc Tuan reinforced the gate of his house by tying it to the root of a mango tree, worried erosion could wash away the gate one day.

Tuan said he built his house at the cost of VND500 million right after the embankment was finished in 2020.

Anti-erosion embankment suffers repeat deterioration in Mekong Delta

Erosion eats up almost half a house.

Anti-erosion embankment suffers repeat deterioration in Mekong Delta

A man sits in his former house 100 meters from the embankment. This house had been abandoned due to its vulnerability to erosion impacts.

Coastal and riverine erosion has been a long-standing issue in several areas of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam's agriculture and aquaculture hub, in recent years. Besides natural mechanisms related to water flow, experts have also blamed the construction of upstream Mekong River dams, groundwater overexploitation and sand mining.

Around 500 hectares of land in the delta is lost to erosion annually, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

 

Source: VNE

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