21 May 2012

A huge relocation programme from riverbanks in Vietnam

Posted by Dave Petley


Apologies for the lack of posts in the last week – I took a trip into the high mountains of Northern Pakistan, which precluded other work.  So, to start to catch up, a very interesting article was published today in Vietnam about the impact of landslides on riverbank communities.  It says:

River landslides, climate change and flash floods are increasingly threatening the lives of tens of thousands of households in Vietnam, who may be faced with no choice but to relocate to safer areas, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.  Statistics from the ministry state that the country now has hundreds of landslide-prone spots and at least 60 river valley areas that are highly susceptible to flashfloods.  Pham Khanh Ly, deputy head of the Department of Co-operatives and Rural Development, says up to 600,000 households should be relocated within the next few years, and 350,000 of these by 2015.  Meantime, relevant authorities have been able to set a target to relocate 125,000 households by 2015 and 300,000 by 2020, said Mr. Ly. Priority will be given to those living in the Mekong Delta, the northeastern and north-central regions…Total capital required for the purpose will exceed VND30 trillion (US$1.4 billion) from now until 2020. Of this amount, 60 per cent will come from the central budget and 40 per cent from local budget.

The forced relocation of 300,000 households (which, based on an average household size of 3.8 people suggest a total of about 1.1 million people), is a poorly reported but very substantive impact of landslides.

Meanwhile, there is an interesting article here about the ongoing relocation programme from riverbanks in the vicinity of the Three Gorges Dam in China.