In Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, sand mining means lost homes and fortunes

When a riverbank subsided and gave way four years ago, Tran Van Bi’s house collapsed into a river in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Everything his family had accumulated over 32 years was gone in an instant.

“At that time, when I heard the sound of screaming, I ran back, only to see the roof of my house sinking into a fast-flowing stream,” said Bi, 60, whose old house was next to Vam Nao River in My Hoi Dong commune, An Giang province.

“I ran to find my wife and children and then like a lost soul, I didn’t know what to do.” Fortunately, his family members were safe.

The river swallowed a total of 14 houses that day. The subsidence forced another 106 households to relocate.

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Dinh Tuyen