A sandbag revetment is built along Cua Dai beach to deal with the worsening erosion along the coast. (Source: VNA) 

HCM City (VNA)
- The central province of Quang Nam has approved the second phase of a project to build concrete dikes along Cua Dai beach to cope with worsening coastal erosion near Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Nguyen Van Dung, Chairman of Hoi An’s People’s Committee, said the project, with total investment of more than 80 billion VND (3.59 million USD), would be funded with 50 billion VND (2.24 million uSD) from the central government’s budget and the rest from Hoi An.

Under the project, 750 metres of concrete dikes will be built from the Vinpearl resort area to the river mouth of Cua Dai beach.

During the first phase of the project in 2011, more than 850 metres of dikes were built at a total cost of 70 billion VND (3.14 million USD).

In 2014, when the erosion became worse, the province spent 25 billion VND (1.12 million USD) to erect iron poles and set up a sandbag revetment 400 metres along the coast. However, the project was not effective in the long run.

The province is now asking for the Government to allocate 40 billion VND (1.79 million USD) to help eroded areas stretching 1.3 kilometres along the coast. It will use Dutch technology, with a total investment of 55 billion VND (2.46 million USD).

Nguyen The Hung, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said Cua Dai beach erosion had become more serious, destroying the beach and affecting the tourism industry in Hoi An.

Experts said at an international conference recently held in Hoi An that the coastal erosion at Cua Dai was a serious problem not only for Hoi An but for the entire province.

Many provinces in the central region had not developed long-term plans for the sustainable development of rivers, estuaries and coasts.

Hung told the Vietnam News Agency on the sidelines of the conference that all sand-mining activities should be strictly banned in the downstream areas of the Thu Bon and along the province’s coastline.

More specialised dykes, other than sandbag revetments, should be built to shield Cua Dai beach from further attrition, he said.

Local scientists have also said that protective forests should be planted and new measures taken to retain the soil.

However, the Hoi An government lacks the funding, technology and knowledge to resolve the problem and is waiting for support from the province and the central Government, according to Hung.

Nguyen Trung Viet, rector of the Central Region College of Technology, Economics and Water Resources, said in an interview that temporary solutions would not achieve sustainable outcomes and might do the opposite.

Such measures could cause erosion in neighbouring areas. For example, some resorts have built their own dykes independently without co-ordination with others. These activities could cause erosion at nearby hotels and resorts, Viet said.

Co-operation between scientists, businesses and provincial authorities is needed to effectively resolve the issue, he said.

The Hoi An People’s Committee has asked the Quang Nam provincial People’s Committee and the central Government for additional funds for soil retention, and has also sought advice from experts.

Cua Dai Beach, which is 7.6km long, was 3km away from the shore 40 years ago. It was separated from the residential areas by huge sand dunes, according to local residents.

However, in recent years, erosion has eaten into the land at an alarming level. Hundreds of households have moved to other places due to serious coastal erosion.-VNA