Mekong Delta in crisis due to exploitation of sand and waterbanks

The ongoing sand extraction on the canals of the Mekong Delta is causing serious loss of a lot of agricultural land. According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Mekong Delta loses about 300 hectares of land every year due to the erosion of the river banks and the coast. Thus, in ten years the Mekong Delta has lost 3,000 hectares of land.

The exploitation of sand by “cát tặc” (sand thieves) or the legal exploitation of economic groups are disrupting people’s lives and aquatic ecosystems. The water level of the rivers has dropped. As a result, the groundwater level also decreases, causing the risk of drought.

As in the case of Tiền Giang province, the region has the Tiền Giang River and the Vàm Cỏ River. According to a recent research, Tiền Giang has 33 sand pits covering an area of ​​1,633 hectares of reserves, with over 37.8 million cubic meters of sand.

As of April 11, 2021, according to statistics from the Department of Nature, Resources and the Environment of An Giang Province, the province has 9 enterprises that exploit the sand of the Tiền Giang and Hậu Rivers. Total production is approximately 1.6 million cubic meters of sand. The provincial government is expected to collect approximately VND 85 billion in taxes (US $ 3,687,546.50) in the year 2021.

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