Monday, May 21, 2012

River landslides may force relocation of several thousand households in Vietnam 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.

The ministry has had a policy to assist those being relocated. A household losing a house or farmland due to landslides will receive financial aid of VND28 million to relocate to the plains and VND32 million ($1,500) to mountainous areas. 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.

Hoang Van Thang, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that despite the huge capital expense, they don’t have an option but to resettle residents from danger zones....

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