The central coastal province of Quang Nam is undertaking the first phase of dredging work on the Cua Dai River estuary in Hoi An to enable large fishing vessels to berth.

Phan Quang Them, technical officer with the Domestic Waterway Management Department, which is supervising the project, said the project was divided into two phases.

In the first phase, workers will dredge 100,000 cubic metres of sediment from a 2-km long stretch of waterway to be 30 metres wide and 4 metres deep.

Le Trung Dung, head of the work team, said recent heavy rain and strong waves had hindered operations.
He said work was being sped up to allow fishermen to navigate the estuary after Tet (Lunar New Year).

During the second phase of work, the province will ask the Ministry of Transport to continue dredging the estuary to make it navigable for even bigger vessels.

Last year, a build-up of silt in the Cua Dai estuary after the eleventh major storm, Nari, hit the region. Not only did this block thousands of fishing boats, but halted most transport to the 3,000 people on the Cham Islands, 15km from the estuary.

The 1km-wide estuary had a depth of only 1.2 metres at low tide and 1.8 metres at high tide. Vessels using engines of more than 30 horsepower could not navigate the shallows.

The provincial People's Committee assigned the Department of Transport to urgently dredge the estuary. The Ho Chi Minh City based-Que Huong Construction and Trading Joint Stock Company won the contract.-VNA