Vietnam's sand rush, insatiable demand for sand threatens land, livelihoods

Mr Nguyen Van Huy and his daughter Nguyen Thi Em Ri, eight, at the riverbank where their home used to be before it collapsed into the river. Sand dredgers are common on the Tien River between An Giang Province and Dong Thap Province in southern Vietn
Sand dredgers are common on the Tien River between An Giang Province and Dong Thap Province in southern Vietnam. They dredge sand directly from the riverbed and load the material on barges to be transported to other areas.PHOTO: LAN PHUONG FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Mr Nguyen Van Huy and his daughter Nguyen Thi Em Ri, eight, at the riverbank where their home used to be before it collapsed into the river. Sand dredgers are common on the Tien River between An Giang Province and Dong Thap Province in southern Vietn
Mr Nguyen Van Huy and his daughter Nguyen Thi Em Ri, eight, at the riverbank where their home used to be before it collapsed into the river. PHOTO: LAN PHUONG FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Insatiable demand for sand threatens land, livelihoods in Mekong Delta

Mr Nguyen Van Huy watched as his home started to collapse into the river.

He lived beside the Tien River, a branch of the mighty Mekong in southern Vietnam, where miners have been sucking up huge amounts of sand and causing widespread erosion.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 08, 2018, with the headline 'Vietnam's sand rush'. Print Edition | Subscribe