25/06/2015

Illegal sand mining along the Tien River, Dong Thap province, Vietnam

Illegal sand mining in Dong Thap province has drastically increased with the Vietnamese construction boom. But the sand rush is leaving villagers without ground under their feet.


Description:

Recent growth in the Vietnamese construction sector has led to rising demand for construction materials such as sand and gravel, which in turn has caused a massive increase in illegal sand mining along Vietnamese rivers. The Tien River, flowing across the Dong Thap province, has become a central target of this ‘sand theft’, which is among the fundamental causes of growing river bed erosion, consequently leading to serious damages of nearby residential areas. Entire parts of houses have disappeared due to land subsidence, leaving them heavily ravaged [1].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Illegal sand mining along the Tien River, Dong Thap province, Vietnam
Country:Vietnam
State or province:Dong Thap province
(municipality or city/town)Hong Ngu district, Chau Thanh ditrict, Tan Hong district, and others
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific commodities:Sand, gravel
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Due to the illegal nature of the sand mining activities, no detailed information is available. According to the Dong Thap police, up to 200 illegal sand mining boats were operating in the province [4]. According to a report, individual operators can extract up to 10,000m3 per year [6].

Project area:3,100
Level of Investment:unknown
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:4000 families (between 12,000 to 20,000 people)
Start of the conflict:2000
Company names or state enterprises:Ngu Binh Company Limited from Vietnam - sand and construction materials
Relevant government actors:Hong Ngu District Party Committee; Natural Resources and Environment Department of Hong Ngu District; Irrigational Works Department of Dong Thap
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:unknown
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Local scientists/professionals
translation missing: en.m.mobilizing_groups.fisher_people
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Police crackdowns; Seizing of vessels
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Noise pollution
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Deaths, Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsIn other provinces, people have died through landslides caused by river erosion
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, displacement, Loss of livelihood
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Corruption
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Migration/displacement
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Illegal sand mining goes on
Sources and Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] Toui Tre News online (19/04/2015): "Illegal sand mining partly to blame for land subsidence in southern Vietnam (photos)"
[click to view]

[2] Talk Vietnam online (21/08/2008): "Land erosion in the Mekong Delta threatens entire villages"
[click to view]

[3] Viet Nam News online (23/09/2014): "Erosion hits thousands all over Mekong Delta"
[click to view]

[5] Viet Nam News online (27/08/2012): "Riverbank erosion guts Delta homes"
[click to view]

[4] Vietnamnet.vn online (18/05/2013): "Dong Thap: District party officials protect illegal sand mining"
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

General media report on the sand mining industry in Vietnam
[click to view]

Other documents

Damages Source: http://tuoitrenews.vn/society/27566/illegal-sand-mining-partly-to-blame-for-land-subsidence-in-southern-vietnam-photos
[click to view]

Damages Source: http://tuoitrenews.vn/society/27566/illegal-sand-mining-partly-to-blame-for-land-subsidence-in-southern-vietnam-photos
[click to view]

Damages Source: http://tuoitrenews.vn/society/27566/illegal-sand-mining-partly-to-blame-for-land-subsidence-in-southern-vietnam-photos
[click to view]

Damages Source: http://tuoitrenews.vn/society/27566/illegal-sand-mining-partly-to-blame-for-land-subsidence-in-southern-vietnam-photos
[click to view]

Sand extraction Source: http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/society/76066/dong-thap--district-party-officials-protect-illegal-sand-mining.html
[click to view]

Sand extraction Source: http://tuoitrenews.vn/society/27566/illegal-sand-mining-partly-to-blame-for-land-subsidence-in-southern-vietnam-photos
[click to view]

[6] Bank Erosion in Mekong Delta and along Red River in Vietnam (Report 2003) Source: http://www.google.es/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCIQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fpublicaties.minienm.nl%2Fdownload-bijlage%2F53818%2Fbank-erosion-in-mekong-delta-report-mission-23-november-6-december-2003.pdf&ei=m8mKVe2SNIv4UL7ehKgN&usg=AFQjCNEGG5kREGPmvd46Uenl_VqO1OoEEw&sig2=cwJMCxNit-RC-7EcrkvOvw&bvm=bv.96339352,d.d24
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:A. Scheidel (ICTA-UAB)
Last update25/06/2015
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