Saigoneer

BackStories » Saigon » Saigon Earmarks $7m for Measures to Thwart Illegal Sand Mining

Saigon Earmarks $7m for Measures to Thwart Illegal Sand Mining

Illegal sand mining in the area is devastating ecosystems and ushering in a host of environmental problems.

To combat the problem, Saigon authorities are building two sentry posts along the coast in Can Gio District and two more along the Dong Nai River in District 9, according to VnExpress. The posts, which will be manned round the clock, will be equipped with a variety of advanced technology, including radios, radar and obstruction, signal and warning lights, at a cost of VND165 billion (US$7 million). 

The use of sand for concrete in building projects has greatly increased demand for the material. While previously exploited by foreign countries, most notably Singapore, now Saigon's rapid development is fueling the removal of sand from natural locations by locals. In the first several months of the year, authorities seized 4,680 cubic meters of illegally obtained sand.

The dredging of sand sullies water, which makes exploited areas inhospitable for plants and animals, while also causing erosion, rendering coastal communities more vulnerable to flooding, as reported by National Geographic. Joyce Msuya, the acting executive director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), told the outlet regarding sand mining: "For one of the most traded commodities on the planet, it is one of the least regulated activities, and there is very low general awareness about extraction impacts."

Vietnam has recently taken steps to address the problem, including discussions to revisit punishments. Currently, the potential fines, especially in the absence of rigorous monitoring, are too lenient to act as a deterrent. As it stands now, greedy granule-grabbers found to have illegally taken more than 50 cubic meters of sand can receive fines of VND100–200 million (US$4,200–8,500). In addition to raising those amounts, authorities want the transporting of smaller amounts to be regulated for the first time as well. 

The country is also exploring alternative building materials, such as crushed rocks, that can help reduce the demand for sand.

[Photo via Tuoi Tre]


Related Articles:

In the Mekong Delta, Excessive Sand Mining Is Destroying Local Homes

Illegal Sand Mining Puts Hoi An's Coastline at Severe Risk of Erosion: Experts

Vietnam to Run out of Construction Sand by 2020: Official


Related Articles

in Saigon

$100,000 Diamond Allegedly Vanishes From Woman’s Finger In HCMC Hotel

A Hanoi woman claims that she was drugged at a HCMC hotel last weekend and awoke to find that a $100,000 diamond had been pried from her ring.

in Saigon

100,000 Workers at Saigon Industrial Zones to Get Free WiFi by 2019

Workers at Saigon’s industrial zones can look forward to free WiFi access in the near future thanks to a new program.

in Saigon

100-Year-Old Trees In Front Of Opera House Cut Down To Make Way For Metro

Flower Street and the statues in front of Bến Thành Market aren’t the only sacrifices being made to accommodate the construction of Saigon’s first metro line.

in Saigon

122-Year-Old Saigon Woman Confirmed As World’s Oldest

The World Records Association (WRA) has completed the verification process and officially confirmed Saigon’s 122-year-old Nguyen Thi Tru, as the world’s oldest woman.

in Saigon

160 Wood Benches Being Added To Nguyen Hue Street

The trees that were cut down last July during construction of the metro station in front of the Saigon Opera House are making a comeback in the form of benches.

in Saigon

2 Men Arrested In HCMC For Trying To Ship Gun and Grenade In Guitar Case

Two local men were arrested last Tuesday after attempting to ship a rifle, grenade and 5 bullets to Hanoi in a guitar case. Surprisingly, neither of the men were Antonio Banderas.

Partner Content

Video »

BUDX HCMC