The action program “CHẢY ĐI SÔNG ƠI”. Part 1 – The Mekong River Delta 2016

Published by Phạm Nguyễn Đức Anh on

“CHẢY ĐI SÔNG ƠI” is an action program for rivers and the residents living along rivers in Vietnam, initiated by the Resilient Housing Program. This action program commenced with activities to support people in Soc Trang and Ben Tre provinces in the face of severe drought and salinity. During the survey trip from April 14, 15, and 16 in Soc Trang and Ben Tre, the Resilient Housing Program cooperated with the Department of Agriculture of Soc Trang province, Soc Trang province’s Youth Union, the Center for Agriculture and Fisheries Extension of Ben Tre province, met and discussed with the authorities and residents in the areas that the Resilient Housing Program is interested in to listen to their difficulties and needs. After researching and considering all resources, the Resilient Housing Program decided on the areas to be implemented and the solutions to be implemented.

The activities would be carried out in several phases. Specifically:


The whole island has 17 km of coastline, 24 km of sea dykes, 81 km of river dykes, 1,000 km of banks along rivers and canals.

Cu Lao Dung is the largest island on the Hau River, at the end of the Mekong River, facing the East Sea with two estuaries of Tran De and Dinh An. Cu Lao Dung’s terrain is only 0.5 – 1m higher than the sea level, nearly 1m lower than the average buoyancy of the mainland, divided by many canals.


The resettlement area of the Khmer people includes 28 apartments.
  1. Regarding housing: Support to upgrade houses in the resettlement area of the Khmer people: 28 houses, expected to support 50 million/house.
    The total cost is 1.4 billion. The criteria set for housing in this resettlement area are:

  • Safe from natural disasters and phenomena.
  • Ensuring the space and function to meet the needs of family activities.
  • Sustainable.
  • Suitable and highlighting the culture of the user community.
  • Affordable with the economic conditions of the people.

Visiting Mr. Tu Toan’s two-stage shrimp farming model.

2. Regarding livelihoods: With the strength of aquaculture, a large area of mangroves and a long coastline, the Resilient Housing Program focuses on supporting the development of clean aquaculture models that adapt to the saltwater environment and coastal forage-based livestock, including:

  • Raising garden chickens for the Khmer community in the resettlement area. The expected support is 28 herds x 1 million/herd = 28 million VND.
  • Researching and applying the environmentally friendly two-stage shrimp farming model. The expected support is 5 households x 20 million/household = 100 million VND.
  • Researching and applying the environmentally friendly model of all-male giant freshwater prawn farming. The expected support is 5 households x 20 million/household = 100 million VND.
  • Researching and applying the model of raising sea ducks with households along the mangrove forest. The expected support is 20 households x 5 million/household = 100 million VND.

THE TOTAL EXPECTED COST FOR SOC TRANG IS: 1,728,000,000 (One billion seven hundred twenty eight million dong).


Con Tau is located between two branches of the Tien River, nearly 14km² with about 3,900 residents, 1,000 households, about 130 households of which are in the landslide area. Every year, Con Tau encounters storms and local people have to move to the mainland whenever the storm comes. The dyke system of Con Tau is heavily eroded and usually broken in the flood season. The average flood level in the dyke area is 1m.

Broken dyke and landslide in Con Tau.


1. Regarding housing: Currently, Con Tau is facing great difficulties in the dyke system. Annually, the dyke here is significantly broken, the soil is eroded and gradually eating ashore. If the dyke problem is not solved, it is likely that in the near future, people’s land and houses next to the dyke will also be gone.

Households along the dyke.

Annually, when the flood returns or the dyke breaks, the average flood level of households along the dyke is 1m. When the tide rises, the flood is below 0.5m. When there is a storm or a big flood, the house will collapse or be swept away. However, in order to have a sustainable housing solution, the dyke problem must be solved first by the state. During the implementation of other activities here, the Resilient Housing Program will learn and research housing models for residents living along the dyke. The implementation’s possibility will depend on other local situations.

Traditional water containers of people in the Mekong River Delta.

2. Regarding clean water: Con Tau does not have water plants or wells. Local residents only have 2 sources of water as river water used for daily life and rain water used for drinking. For poor households, the current difficulty they face is the lack of rainwater storage facilities for the prolonged dry season. The Resilient Housing Program will support:

  • 20 plastic water containers for 20 disadvantaged households, each containing 1.1 blocks.
  • 03 plastic water containers for each of the 3 schools and 1 medical station, each containing 1.1 blocks.

Total 32 barrels x 2 million/barrel = 64 million.

3. Regarding livelihoods:

The mounds of land under the longan garden can be used to raise eels.

The current main livelihood of local residents is growing longan. To grow longan, people will build up mounds of land, below which are the creeks. There is a small area of land on those mounds, which are left empty and unused. The locality has recently started to have a few households raising goats and achieved high economic efficiency, but they did not replicate it because of the considerably high initial investment. With the advice and technical support of Mr. Tri – Director of the Center for Agriculture and Fisheries Extension, the Resilient Housing Program decided to support poor people in Tam Hiep with 02 models:

  • Support 20 goat-raising households: each household will be provided with 2 female goats, 2 households will be supported with 2 more male goats/household for breeding. Families receiving female goats will pledge to support another family with 2 baby goats at the first birth. The estimated cost is 42 animals x 6 million/head = 252 million VND.
  • Support 20 eel farming households: make use of the mounds of land in the longan garden to make eel ponds with the area ranging from 10 – 20m2. The estimated cost is 20 eel ponds x 5 million/pond = 100 million VND.

THE TOTAL EXPECTED COST FOR TAM HIEP IS: 416,000,000 (Four hundred and sixteen million dong).


One of the commune’s few freshwater wells.

Thoi Lai commune is adjacent to Ba Lai river. The whole commune has 96 poor households and 30 near-poor households. Their main livelihood is growing rice and crops. This is also a key area for lack of fresh water during the dry season when crops and livestock die due to lack of water for irrigation and drinking. People have to buy water from 1 or 2 freshwater wells in the commune.


Regarding clean water: To address the immediate shortage of fresh water, the project will coordinate with the commune authorities to find an area with water to drill wells. The project expected to drill about 3 wells, about 3-4m deep. After being used through this dry season, the well will be closed to ensure the maintenance of groundwater. The estimated cost is 3 wells x 7 million/well = 21 million.

In order to solve the long-term problem, the project supports poor households in the commune (96 households) with water tanks to store rain water in the rainy season, helping to store water for the dry season every year. The estimated cost is 96 barrels x 2 million/barrel = 192 million VND.

THE TOTAL EXPECTED COST FOR THOI LAI IS: 213,000,000 (Two hundred thirteen million dong).


The above activities will be implemented in phases, specifically:

  • Phase 1: Focusing on supporting issues related to clean water in Tam Hiep commune (Con Tau) and Thoi Lai commune, and simultaneously researching livelihood models in these two areas.
  • Phase 2: Carrying out livelihood support (raising goats and eels) in Tam Hiep and Thoi Lai communes, Ben Tre; simultaneously studying livelihood models in Soc Trang (the two-stage shrimp farming, giant freshwater shrimp farming, sea duck farming, garden chicken raising) and researching on improving resettlement houses in Soc Trang.
  • Phase 3: Conducting livelihood and housing support in Soc Trang.


The Resilient Housing Program calls for your cooperation with the project to support people in the Mekong River Delta who are having difficulties. All donations should be sent to the account:

  • Account holder: Pham Thi Huong Giang
  • Account number: 0011000708653
  • Bank: Vietcombank, Hanoi Stock Exchange branch