Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Ca Mau, (VNA) – Hundreds of local households in the southern province of Ca Mau have planted Nipa palm trees along approximately 10 kilometres of riverbanks over the past 2 years to prevent soil erosion.

Phu Tan, Thoi Binh and Tran Van Thoi districts have the largest number of newly planted Nipa palms.

According to local residents, Nipa palms have proven themselves the most effective barrier for erosion control. Even the strongest embankment needs Nipa palms to protect it from water damage, they said.

Before 1975, Ca Mau was home to more than 15,000 hectares of Nipa palms, which spread across about 10,000 tributaries and canals in the locality.

Back then the trees were grown for their leaves, which made good thatched roofs.

Since more and more locals replaced the leaves with stronger materials like tile and corrugated iron, the area under the trees declined significantly to only few dozen hectares.

The trees were also cut off to clear water surface for shrimp farming, triggering more serious soil erosion.

Now more aware of the importance of Nipa palms, residents have started replanting the trees in recent years.

Truong Thanh Hoai, an agricultural engineer, said the plant grows quickly in both salt water and freshwater, which is suitable for erosion control.-VNA