The riverbed is becoming wider, while houses on the two banks are about to fall into the river due to serious erosion. Illegal sand exploitation has spoiled the environment, caused landslides, changing the current, and threatening waterway transport. “In the past, Sai Gon River was full of shrimp and fish, while the tide went in and out peacefully. Now, the water turns muddy. In many places, houses and gardens have been swept away by the ‘river god’,” said Ba, a fisherman living near Binh Phuoc Bridge in Thu Duc district, neighboring Binh Duong province. “We don’t know where we will go to settle down,” he said, sighing. Ba pointed at the dilapidated houses with foundations nearly broken, just 200 meters away from Binh Phuoc Bridge. The river water has swallowed up the concrete road, while many houses have become empty, left deserted in the shabby land.
Fourteen houses and two house floors in My Hoi Dong Commune, Cho Moi District of Mekong Delta Province of An Giang fell into the Hau River on Saturday morning due to a landslide, panicking local residents. A road connecting My Hoi Dong Commune and Nhơn Mỹ Commune was also damaged and isolated. The 70-metre long landslide caused estimated total damages of VNĐ8.8 billion (US$391,000). There have been no deaths. The provincial People’s Council issued a state of emergency in the affected area along the river. Truong Trung Lap, Chairman of Cho Moi District’s People’s Committee said that local forces have been mobilised round the clock to follow the landslide, ensure traffic order, evacuate residents and their properties out of the landslide area.
Expansion of land limits and accumulation of land for large-scale production are expected to be the foundation for the branding of farm produce. Vietnam has become a big farm produce exporter, but most of the products are exported as raw materials and don’t bear a Vietnamese brand. A report from the National Office of Intellectual Property shows that 80 percent of Vietnam’s farm exports are sold under foreign brands. In the domestic market, 80 percent of farm produce are sold without labeling. Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong admitted that the quality of Vietnam farm produce is not always the same because of small-scale production. Tens of farm produce items have export turnover of $1 billion and more, but they are only exported as raw materials or preliminarily processed.
The power provided to the entire lighting system of an industrial zone is derived from a waste-to-energy plant, while processed and packaged straw residue is sold for VND60,000 per kilo, used as material for the production of microbiological fertilizer. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Minister of Science & Technology Chu Ngoc Anh on March 18 visited the waste-to-energy plant run by Hydraulic Machine Ltd Company, located in Dong Van 2 IZ in the northern province of Ha Nam. The plant treats solid waste with the gasification technology to create synthesis gas, used as the material to run electricity generators. The WTE technology has been successfully tested.
Some bad elements have taken advantage of the marine environment disaster in the central region last year to instigate some local Catholics to cause social disorder. Their purpose is to cook up a story about what they call “religious and democratic suppression”, create an image of an “unstable Vietnam”, divide national unity, trigger riots, and call for foreign intervention. In February and early April, some Catholics in Nghe An and Ha Tinh province blocked a transnational highway, attacked officials and law enforcement personnel, destroyed property, and caused troubles at the headquarters of the Loc Ha district People’s Committee.
Ancient nghien trees (Excentrodendron tonkinense) in Ha Giang province, in the middle of old forests and on high cliffs, have been lost due to illegal logging and clearing to make room for hydropower plants and mineral exploitation. However, the plan has failed: the province has lost thousands of ancient forests, enterprises have complained about losses and given up mining, and locals are facing serious pollution. Illegal loggers fell trees, saw the wood into planks, throw the planks from cliffs into the hydropower reservoir bed, and then drag the wood ashore. Local authorities still cannot find a way to stop them. Reporters managed to persuade a man to lead them to the nghien forest in Bac Me district. On the way from Ha Giang City to Lac Nong commune, they turned to a track leading to the wharf on the Tuyen Quang hydropower reservoir. Two wood plates, as large as two adults’ arms, were on the ground.
Vietnam is a large cosmetics market with turnover of $1.1 billion last year, but there is now little room for Vietnamese manufacturers. The founder of La House, a cosmetics brand, has complained about the difficulties of opening shops at large shopping malls. The owners of malls refuse to lease retail premises to made-in-Vietnam cosmetics brands even before hearing about the brand’s history, achievement and financial capability. They said they wanted to reserve retail premises for international prestigious brands which will be more favored by Vietnamese. Vietnamese pay high prices for foreign cosmetics, but ignore Vietnamese-made products even if they are much cheaper. My Secret is one of the very few Vietnamese cosmetics brands becoming better known as its products are made of organic oil. However, many consumers still hesitate to buy My Secret products.
Hoang Thanh Van, director of the Department of Breeding under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, speaks to Kinh Te Do Thi (Economics and Urban Affairs) newspaper about managing imported meat. Domestic breeders worry that imported meat will compete with domestic breeding products and decrease domestic breeding products’ prices. What do you think? Firstly, imported meat occupies only seven or eight per cent of total meat for consumption, so it will not strongly affect the market. Last year, Viet Nam imported nearly 10,500 tonnes of pork, 22 per cent of which from Poland, 16.2 per cent from Spain, 13.1 per cent from Germany, 10.1 per cent from the US and 9.7 per cent from Brazil. This number is small compared with Viet Nam’s total meat production. In pork, Viet Nam produces a fairly great amount of pork at good quality.
Finance ministers and central bank governors of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to promote economic growth and financial integration, and strengthen financial stability in the region. The commitment was detailed in a joint statement, which was issued at the third Finance Ministers and ASEAN Central Governors’ Joint Meeting, which concluded in Cebu, the Philippines on April 7. According to the joint statement, ASEAN’s finance ministers and central bank governors pledged to pursue the bloc’s objectives to build a highly integrated and cohesive economy, which is competitive, innovative, and dynamic, through intra-bloc cooperation.
Radiation and radioactive isotope applications have helped Vietnam produce more high-yield rice varieties resistant to pests and diseases, while new technologies have helped diagnose and treat critical diseases. From these applications, billions of dollars have been contributed to the economy. Hoang Anh Tuan, Director of Vietnam Atomic Energy Agency, in Vietnam, said that atomic energy has been applied in many different fields, from industry to agriculture to healthcare. The strategy on applying atomic energy for peace until 2020 aims to build and develop industries and nuclear technologies that contribute directly and effectively to socio-economic development and enhance the scientific and technological potential of the country.