Social News 15/2
Hanoi looks to develop model “garden city” urban area
Hanoi’s Department of Planning and Architecture publicised on February 14 the detailed planning of a functional residential area expected to become a “garden city” in south of the capital city.
In the planning with a scale of 1:500, the residential area covers more than 75 hectares in Me Tri, Trung Van and Phu Do wards of Nam Tu Liem district, in the south of Thang Long Avenue.
It is designed to consist of housing, lakes, greenery, and schools and accommodate 10,000 people.
The department said while planning, relevant agencies of Hanoi tried to ensure appropriate land use and the residential area’s connectivity and harmony with surrounding projects, thereby meeting the general development demand in the south of Hanoi.
The functional resident area is formed in line with the Prime Minister’s direction in January 2015 regarding the implementation of a culture, tourism and trade centre project to raise fund for the building of a national exhibition and fair centre.
Ministry to tighten control of divestment and equitisation
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) will tighten control over company equitisation and impose strict penalties on irresponsible leaders who delay this process, Deputy Minister Hà Công Tuấn said at a conference in Hà Nội yesterday.
Deputy Minister Tuấn said inefficient equitisation that creates losses of State capital and properties at fully-funded or partly-funded State enterprises would be subjected to compensation payment and held responsible under the law.
According to the deputy minister restructuring of several firms has been implemented slowly. Some equitised companies are unable to sell out their shares on schedule and have not made major changes in terms of production efficiency, while their structure, operations and management have shown shortcomings.
Nguyễn Nam Hải, general director of Việt Nam Coffee Corporation, said that during the 2012-2015 period, three fourths of the company’s units were equitised. One unit went into liquidation while two units conducted divestment. Four more units have not divested their capital.
Việt Nam Southern Food Corporation and Việt Nam Rubber Group also faced divestment difficulties, especially in searching for competitive investors to purchase capital.
A representative of the Finance Ministry said at the conference that in 2017, units must take active roles in restructuring and equitisation. The ministry will mobilise officials to help enterprises address problems that arise.
Deputy Minister Hà Công Tuấn said MARD leaders attached importance to strategies attracting investors to agriculture. However, implementation of investment policies faced difficulties and the ministry was determined to work out measures to address them.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nguyễn Xuân Cường, said that renewal in enterprise management is a chance to revive State-owned firms.
“The ministry’s plan in the 2017-2020 period is to seriously implement equitisation, capital transfer and divestment. The process will be carried out with respect of the law and transparency to avoid losses. Enterprise restructuring must be conducted along with production,” Cường said.
Representatives of enterprises at the conference agreed that 51 per cent of stock of efficiently run companies should be kept, while 100 per cent of capital at ineffectively-run enterprises must be withdrawn.
According to MARD, 12 State-owned companies under the ministry have so far equitised successfully. Three, namely Việt Nam Southern Food Corporation, Việt Nam Rubber Group and Việt Nam Agricultural Materials Corporation, are setting up equitisation plans. In 2016, the total divestment grew to VNĐ1.53 trillion (US$68.1 million).
Quang Nam works to ensure security for APEC events
The central coastal province of Quang Nam has deployed a plan to ensure safety and security for the organisation of APEC events.
Three events are scheduled to take place in the locality, including meetings for finance senior officials; finance and central bank deputies; and finance ministers.
Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Tri Thanh said local police conducted a counter-terrorism exercise in Hoi An city in August 2016, while proactively coordinating with the local Military High Command and border guards to strengthen defense and security for the APEC meetings.
Deputy Minister of Public Security Bui Van Nam said the APEC Year 2017 offers a good opportunity for Vietnam to increase her position in the regional and international arenas.
He requested the province to pay due attention to the entry-and-exit management, fire prevention, and crime prevention, especially during the time of APEC activities.
Vietnam joined APEC in 1998, and hosted APEC 14 in 2006, which laid a foundation for Asia-Pacific free trade areas.
Established in 1989, APEC now comprises 21 economies, including Australia; Brunei; Canada; Chile; China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; the Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; the Philippines; Russia; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; the United States; and Vietnam.
WB experts assist Binh Dinh’s post-disaster rebuilding effort
A delegation of World Bank experts had a working session with Binh Dinh authorities on February 14 seeking to address consequences of natural disasters in central provinces.
The experts suggested Binh Dinh province focus investment on key projects, which could adapt to severe impacts of natural calamities in the coming time.
According to the provincial People’s Committee, floods in 2016 caused an economic loss of over 2.2 trillion VND.
Thirty-nine people were killed or unaccounted for, while hundreds houses were destroyed and 18,800 hectares of rice were submerged.
Given the fact, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited Binh Dinh in December to inspect the local rebuilding efforts.
The PM also entrusted the Ministry of Planning and Investment to coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to arrange an official development assistance (ODA) package for Binh Dinh to rebuild transport and irrigation systems and enhance local capacity to cope with natural disasters.
On February 10, 2017, the Government leader approved a proposal to lend 100 million USD from the World Bank to quickly address natural disaster consequences in some central provinces, including Binh Dinh, Quang Ngai, Phu Yen and Ninh Thuan.
Binh Thuan aims to become national sea tourism-sports centre
The People’s Committee of the southern central coastal province of Binh Thuan has issued a plan to boost tourism through 2020, aiming to make tourism a spearhead sector of the province and turning the locality into a national sea tourism-sports centre.
It has pursued an ambitious plan to make Mui Ne a national tourism site, Phu Quy island a national destination, and Phan Thiet city an urban tourism area.
Ngo Minh Chinh, Director of the provincial Department of Sports and Tourism, said the province is blessed with 200km coastline and favourable conditions for tourism development and has effectively tapped the advantages for sea sports and festivals.
As of January 2017, the province had 388 investment projects in tourism with a total investment of over 54.07 trillion VND. Of the total, 23 projects are foreign-invested.
Infrastructure and services for tourism have been rapidly developed in both quantity and quality with 417 accommodations with 13,120 rooms and 300 houses and villas for hosting tourists.
Binh Thuan has become a national tourism centre with diverse tourism products, he said, adding that tourism has significantly contributed to the province’s economic growth, helping create jobs for thousands of locals, especially those in rural areas, and contributing to preserving and promoting its historical, cultural values and natural resources.
It is striving to turn the industry a major economic sector with synchronous infrastructure system. The sector expects to attract seven million visitors with a growth of 12-14 percent each year, including 10-12 percent growth each year in domestic tourists, and 10 percent contribution to the province’s gross regional domestic products.
To this end, it will focus on 10 measures, including increasing communications on tourism, adjusting and building tourism growth planning and further fostering regional connectivity.
It will speed up cooperation programmes with Ho Chi Minh City and the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong to promote the “Saigon market-Da Lat flower and Mui Ne beach” tourism product, while improving the infrastructure system, diversifying tourism products and bettering service quality, said Chinh.
He also stressed the need to step up the administrative reform and develop human resources for tourism and strengthen State management over environment protection.
In 2016, Binh Thuan welcomed 4.5 million visitors, a rise of 8.8 percent over the same period in 2015, including 530,800 foreign arrivals, up 11.2 percent year on year. The sector earned 9.04 trillion VND in the year, a surge of 18.4 percent over 2015.
In 2017, Binh Thuan aims to serve 5 million visitors.
Carbon monoxide poisoning kills Vietnamese sailor off Malaysia
Three other crewmen were also rendered unconscious by the toxic fumes.
A Vietnamese engineer died on February 13 after inhaling poisonous fumes on the vessel he was working on off the coast of Malaysia.
Hoang Van Chuyen, 33, is believed to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning triggered by a gas leak in the vessel’s cargo compartment, the Star quoted Malaysian police as saying.
Three other crewmen, 27, 29 and 32, were rushed to a local hospital unconscious but are now in stable conditions.
Malaysian police said they will conduct a post-mortem to establish the cause of Chuyen’s death.
The vessel was carrying a crew of 21 and 6,000 tons of rice from Ho Chi Minh City to the Philippines.
The gas leak occurred on February 11 morning but the vessel only reached port at 6 p.m. on February 13.
Saigon to revitalize downtown riverside park
A weekly market will be held at a park along the Saigon River in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, as municipal authorities look to revitalize the weather-beaten historical site.
The plan, masterminded by the administration of District 1, is set to carry out a complete makeover of the park, which is bordered by Ton Duc Thang Street in the district on one side and the Saigon River on the other.
The park is linked to the historical site of Bach Dang Wharf where tenth-century Vietnamese general Ngo Quyen destroyed a fleet of invading Chinese warships by erecting a maze of sharp stakes on the riverbed, concealed by high tides.
The market will assemble every weekend, promoting Vietnamese brands to international friends and creating a new cultural rendezvous for locals as well as tourists, according to District 1's administration.
As many as 100 stalls are expected to be assembled each week, selling different locally-made goods depending on the week’s theme, including food, fashion, and tourism.
The weekly activity is the city’s move to revitalize the park after it has decayed over the past two years without proper care and management.
The park used to house a parking lot and terminal for the now-defunct Thu Thiem Ferry that transported passengers between District 1 and District 2 before the completion of the Saigon River Tunnel in 2011.
In 2013, state-owned travel company Saigontourist took over management of the location with plans to renovate and turn the ferry station into a park.
Little progress had been made on the project as of 2015 however, and since last September the park has once again been under the management of District 1’s administration.
The upcoming beautification project will be carried out by Saigontourist, which plans to build a riverside square resembling the looks of the city of Saigon, the previous name of Ho Chi Minh City.
Explosion decimates Nha Trang shop, kills 1, injures 2
Officials confirm that one person was killed and two injured in an explosion at a construction shop in the city of Nha Trang in Khanh Hoa Province.
Crews responded to the explosion at the Civil Engineering Construction No. 510 JSC on the morning of February 14 at around 8:50 am.
Investigators have identified the dead victim as Le Xuan Huy, 42, who was employed at the shop. The two injured workers, Dinh Hong Nien,53, and Nguyen Tan Thanh, 33, remain hospitalized. Their condition is unknown.
The cause of the blast that destroyed the shop remains under investigation.
Hanoi wants more French 'Sister City' relationships
Chair of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung has called on the Committee to explore the possibility of establishing more French Sister City relationships.
Mr Chung made the announcement during a February 14 meeting in Hanoi with Pierre Baillet, the permanent secretary of the International Association of Francophone Mayors.
Alternatively, Mr Baillet, raised the possibility of establishing a network of Southeast Asian and French cities.This would create an ideal opportunity for all parties to tap into the benefits of twinning relationships.
He said he had previously raised the idea with official in Vientiane (Laos), and Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and that it was well received.
Officials say 6 dead in food poisoning outbreak in Lai Chau
Six people have now died out of 11 confirmed cases of food poisoning linked to foods consumed at a funeral service, hospital officials in the province of Lai Chau said on February 13.
There is a total of 11 cases of food poisoning, officials at the Phong Tho District General Hospital and Lai Chau Province General Hospital told reporters, all having occurred in the Ta Chai Hamlet.
A possibility exists for more deaths as some of the five patients hospitalized are in critical condition.
The exact cause of how the food was contaminated is still under investigation, but all the patients reported the same symptoms of headache, dizziness, nausea after consuming food at a funeral service, said the officials.
Major Lo Van Nguyet, deputy head of Si Lo Lau border guard in the Phong Tho District said the funeral transpired three days earlier. Most of the casualties are Ha Nhi ethnic minorities.
Tour operator struggles to arrange trip for 1,000 tourists to Bali
Having won a contract to organize a trip for 1,013 tourists to Indonesia’s Bali, Ben Thanh Tourist has ended up in booking tickets from six airlines after a tough struggle to secure enough air tickets for the group.
Ta Thi Cam Vinh, manager of the outbound section of Ben Thanh Tourist, told the Daily that her company won the huge contract to arrange a Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Event (MICE) tour for a company in Vietnam and that the customers wanted to depart on the same day. But there are not enough tickets so they have to take connecting flights to Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
The customers are scheduled to depart on April 15, 18 and 21 on flights of Vietnam Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia, Malindo Air and Tiger Airways. They will be accommodated in four to five-star hotels after arriving in Bali.
“This is our biggest MICE tour to Bali. It is hard to book enough tickets as there are few flights between Vietnam and Bali,” Vinh said.
Formerly, Ben Thanh Tourist has organized similar tours to Japan and Korea. For long-haul and expensive destinations such as Europe, the company’s biggest contract was to serve 200 customers.
Compared to other tourism sectors’ unstable growth, MICE tourism to foreign countries has seen steady growth in recent years. In 2016, this sector gained a year-on-year rise of 30%.
The destinations vary over time but customers mainly choose Asian destinations.
Vietnam offers two visa options for US visitors
American tourists can now acquire single-entry visas again for only US$25.
Vietnamese immigration officials have made it easier for American tourists to acquire visas with the introduction of an electronic visa system.
American tourists, along with 39 other nationalities, can now apply for 30-day single-entry visas for a fee of US$25.
Starting in August last year, Vietnam began offering US citizens multiple-entry one-year visas at a whopping fee of US$135, rather than US$25 for a single-entry visa as before.
The one-year, multiple-entry visa policy is in accordance with a mutual agreement between the two countries intended to attract more tourists to Vietnam.
Vietnam restored the short-stay visa option for US citizens after a request from the U.S. itself, which said it did not conflict with the above agreement.
"This change is exactly what US travelers want because they usually just come to Vietnam on one-week tours and then move on to other countries," Director of Viet Excursions Phan Xuan Anh told Saigon Times.
Vietnam attracted 552,000 U.S. travelers last year, 12.5% higher than the year before, accounting for more than 5% of the country’s total international arrivals, government statistics show.
Tourism revenue contributes around 6% to Vietnam’s gross domestic product and the government is determined to further expand this sector.
From February 1 this year, nationals from 40 countries have been able apply for e-visas to visit Vietnam.
Last year, Vietnam also extended visa exemptions with single-entry visits to citizens of Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, and eased its visa policy for Chinese nationals.
Hai Phong pushes tourism development
The northern coastal city of Hai Phong aims to develop tourism into a spearhead economic sector, towards becoming a tourism centre of Vietnam by 2030.
The city’s tourism sector will enhance international cooperation and links with other localities to promote green and sustainable tourism, said Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Tourism Le Trung Son.
The department will intensify promotion activities to attract more visitors and call for more investment in the field while considering building a multi-language handbook to introduce cultural identities.
Information related to tourism events will be promoted at the website: www.dulichhaiphong.gov.vn.
The department will actively join tourism events and organise fact-finding tours to other localities to learn from their experience and seek cooperation opportunities.
Attention will also be paid to a project to develop cultural and spiritual tourism products, eco-tourism and maritime tourism, and new products on inter-regional tourism routes: Hanoi-Hai Phong-Quang Ninh; Hai Phong-Hai Duong-Bac Ninh; and Hanoi- Hung Yen-Hai Duong-Hai Phong-Quang Ninh.
Last year, Hai Phong enhanced links with localities in the Red River Delta and in the south with Can Tho and Khanh Hoa.
Thanks to direct flights between Hai Phong and foreign countries like Thailand, Japan and the Republic of Korea, Hai Phong became an attractive destination for tourists from northeast Asian countries.
In 2016, the city welcomed six million visitors, including 759,000 foreigners.
Three men arrested in drug-related frauds
Police have arrested three more men in a criminal ring accused of using psychotropic drugs to commit frauds in the central province of Thanh Hóa.
Trịnh Hữu Văn, 41, from Triệu Sơn District; Vũ Văn Chanh, 45, from Yên Định District; and 44-year-old Hồ Văn Trọng from Hưng Nguyên District were arrested on Sunday following a three-month investigation into five fraudulent cases in which the victims were drugged and partially lost consciousness.
Earlier, in December last year, Thanh Hóa police arrested three men -- Lễ Sỹ Tùng, 33, and Nguyễn Ngọc Cầu, 28, both from Triệu Sơn District, and Lê Đức Hùng, 31, from Thọ Xuân District. They allegedly rented a car with a driver, who was given a soda or beer with the psychotropic drug mixed in it. Under the influence of the drug, the driver lost the card games he played with the group and was forced to choose between writing a debt note and giving the car to the swindlers to pay off the debt.
The police said the group had successfully stolen five cars since August last year until their arrest.
Investigation into the swindling racket is ongoing.
First totally drug-resistant tuberculosis case in Đồng Nai
The first case of totally drug-resistant tuberculosis in the southern province of Đồng Nai is being treated at the provincial Lung Hospital.
The information was released by the hospital on Tuesday.
The 62-year-old patient, who remains anonymous, is from Biên Hòa City. He was hospitalised in September 2015 for treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Despite long-term treatment, his condition did not improve and he still tested positive for tuberculosis bacteria.
The Đồng Nai Lung Hospital sent his medical samples to HCM City-based Phạm Ngọc Thạch Hospital for testing. Results revealed that he suffered from totally drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Bùi Văn Thịnh, head of the Tuberculosis Male Patient and Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Ward under the provincial hospital, said the patient is under treatment and supervision at the hospital.
At present, his condition is gradually improving and he has tested negative for tuberculosis bacteria.
Nguyễn Ngọc Khánh, director of the Đồng Nai Lung Hospital, said totally drug-resistant tuberculosis was a dangerous disease and occurred in patients suffering from drug-resistant tuberculosis, who did not receive proper treatment or caught the disease from another totally drug-resistant tuberculosis patients.
Treatment for totally drug-resistant tuberculosis was very difficult and prolonged, while medicines to treat the disease had several side effects that could be fatal, he said.
Khánh said the tuberculosis could spread quickly, so the hospital had a separate area for drug-resistant tuberculosis patients, which was far from areas housing patients with other lung diseases.
The hospital warned that residents with symptoms of prolonged coughing who had used different medication but their condition not improved and those suffering from high temperature in the afternoon and were losing weight should visit the hospital for timely treatment.
Speeding bus kills 2 children in Bình Dương
Two children were killed and several other people were injured, two grievously, in the southern province of Bình Dương on Monday when a public transport bus crashed into a car and several motorbikes at a traffic signal.
The deadly accident occurred at 5pm at Mỹ Phước – Tân Vạn Street in Dĩ An town.
Nguyễn Thị Kim Lan, nine, and her sister Nguyễn Thị Thanh Nga, two, died on the spot, and their mother, Lê Thị Kim Chung, 35, and another woman were severely injured.
Several other people were slightly injured, according to the local police, who said the bus was speeding en route from Bến Cát town to Dĩ An when it crashed into the car.
It then hit at least four motorbikes, dragging them for more than 10 metres, before crashing into and knocking over a lamp post before coming to a stop.
Trần Hữu Tài, 30, of Hậu Giang Province, the driver, fled the scene, according to the police.
There were no passengers in the bus.
The police are investigating.
Southern province celebrates intangible musical heritage
The 23rd festival of đờn ca tài tử, the musical art recognised by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage, took place in the southern province of Long An on February 12-13.
The festival paid tribute to music teacher Nguyễn Quang Đại, credited with promoting and preserving the traditional musical art of the southern region during the Nguyễn dynasty (1802-1945).
It also offers an opportunity for masters of đờn ca tài tử to meet and exchange experiences to promote the art, contributing to the preservation of this intangible cultural heritage.
Held annually in Long An, the festival has become a typical cultural feature of the region and attracts many visitors.
This year, the đờn ca tài tử festival in Long An drew the participation of 10 musical groups from HCM City and the provinces close by, including Tiền Giang, Vĩnh Long, Bến Tre and Đồng Nai. They entertained the audience with their performances of songs praising national heroes, patriotism and national achievements.
As part of the festival, the organisers also held a photo exhibition featuring the life and career of the masters of đờn ca tài tử so that visitors could learn more about this musical art of southern Việt Nam.
UNESCO recognised the art as an intangible cultural heritage in 2013. The art is performed at numerous events, such as festivals, death anniversary rituals, and celebratory social events. The audience can join in by practising, making comments or creating new words for songs.
Northern province prays for peace with mountain ritual
A heaven and earth sacrifice ritual was held on February 13 at Ngũ Nhạc Mountain at the Côn Sơn-Kiếp Bạc special national relic site in the northern province of Hải Dương.
The ritual, which is part of the Côn Sơn-Kiếp Bạc Spring Festival 2017, takes place annually on the 17th day of the first lunar month to pray for peace, prosperity and development.
Following the ceremony, local authorities presented five types of cereals -- maize, rice, bean, peanuts and millet -- to participants.
Ngũ Nhạc Mountain, located in Lê Lợi Commune, Chí Linh District, consists of five sacred peaks stretching over 4km. Five shrines are built on top of the peaks to worship the gods of the five directions.
The local authorities decided to restore the shrines on August 8, 2004, to promote cultural values of the relic and attract more visitors. Construction was completed in February 2016, with a pedestrian path system leading to the mountains.
Cần Giờ aims to become sea tourism destination
The chairman of HCM City’s People’s Committee has urged the city’s Cần Giờ District to promote the area as a sea tourism destination.
Nguyễn Thành Phong, who spoke with district authorities about socio-economic development targets in 2017, said the district had great potential, with 10km of coastline, 34 square kilometres of beach area, and mangrove rainforest.
Lê Minh Dũng, chairman of Cần Giờ District’s People’s Committee, said the district welcomed more than 1 million tourists last year, a surge of 54 per cent over the previous year. Tourism revenues reached VNĐ380 billion (US$16.72 million) last year.
This year the district hopes to receive 1.25 million visitors with tourism revenue of VNĐ500 billion ($22 million), he added.
Dũng has asked the city to order the Sài Gòn Water Company (Sawaco) to speed up progress of projects to supply clean water for the district as there is a shortage in some areas.
He also asked the city to send doctors from HCM City to work in the district on a rotational basis, especially after the 200-bed Cần Giờ General Hospital opens.
He said the move would help Cần Giờ ensure a sufficient supply of doctors as the district is facing a shortage of high-quality healthcare staff.
In addition, district authorities said they would like the Government to officially acknowledge Thạnh An Commune as an island commune.
To address problems facing salt workers, Phong has asked district authorities to create favourable conditions for them or help them find another job.
Phong also urged the district to speed up the Cần Giờ General Hospital project.
The Cần Giờ mangrove forest of 31,000 hectares is home to more than 200 various species of wildlife and 150 species of flora. UNESCO recognised the wetlands as a world biosphere reserve in 2010.
Sea breaches Bạc Liêu Province dykes in 2 places
Two sea dykes in the Mekong Delta (Cửu Long) province of Bạc Liêu were badly damaged on Sunday and Monday by high tides, huge waves and strong winds, threatening the lives and properties of local residents.
In Bạc Liêu city, huge waves and powerful winds at speeds of level 8-9 damaged about 20m of the dyke along Nhà Mát Beach near Nhà Mát Border Post, flooding many houses near it.
Phạm Thị Liên, 63, a seafood seller at the beach, said: “At around 2am, while I and my son were sleeping, water rushed in. Many big waves buffeted our house. All the furniture in my house and motorbike was damaged. Hundreds of beers and other drinks, and tens of kilogrammes of fresh seafood were swept away.”
Local authorities quickly moved all the affected people to safe places. Others living in the vicinity were put on notice about moving in case of need.
In Gành Hào town huge waves damaged 20m of dyke at section G1, where it connects with the Gành Hào River dyke.
The waves swept away a six-tonne cement block, damaged a part of Rạch Vượt Bridge and caused many cracks in the sea dyke.
Seawater submerged streets and houses in the town as the tide rose.
The chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, Dương Thành Trung, ordered local authorities and border guards to take immediate measures to safeguard life and property.
Agricultural officials should closely monitor changes in tides along Gành Hào and Nhà Mát beaches to take proactive protective measures during periods of peak tides every month, he said.
Specific plans based on experts’ advice would be drawn up to protect the areas from the sea, he said.
This has been the worst breach of the three times it has occurred since last year at the Gành Hào dyke, which is 11 years old.
Last year large parts of the G1 section of the Gành Hào dyke were damaged and have not been rebuilt yet.
Bạc Liêu is one of provinces in the Mekong Delta affected by climate change.
The two sea dykes have an important role in protecting thousands of households and tens of thousands of hectares of coastal lands.