A mad rush for sand from the Hau River since last month will alter water flows and inflict major environmental damage if it continues unchecked, a Can Tho City police official has said.
The rush was triggered by the Cambodian government’s ban on sand exports on environmental and domestic supply concerns.
Since early 2008, the Vietnamese government has allowed boats carrying sand from
It had become a major trading post for sand. For some years, boats from
However, since the Cambodian government banned sand exports last month, Can Tho City authorities said, the Hau Giang has been overwhelmed with an increasing number of barges flocking to exploit or carry sand from the river.
Hundreds of local barges have been working at full-blast near Can Tho to dredge sand, and at least another 300 have deployed to carry it to foreign boats from
The crowding of barges will affect river traffic and unchecked dredging will affect its flow, the police officer said. This would in turn cause riverbanks and houses to collapse.
A recent inspection by the Can Tho police found a majority of barge owners had no sand-dredging licenses, according to Hung. However, despite being fined, many have continued to carry out the illegal exploitation because of the high profit involved, he added.