Po Ko River flows through the districts of Dak Glei, Ngoc Hoi and Dak To (Kon Tum). This river has accreted alluvium and created rich and fertile lands. However, over the years, the Po Ko River has also washed away a lot of productive land, threatening the lives of residents living along the river.
According to Mr. A Tham, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Po Ko commune (Dak To district), the erosion of the Po Ko riverbank has been going on for many years and the river is still “swallowing” people’s productive land. The cause of the landslide is believed to be the impact of storms that changed the river’s flow. Po Ko commune has 830 households, about 20-30% of households have land and crops affected by river bank erosion. “Locals cannot build embankments to protect productive land because the cost is too great. Therefore, people still have to live with landslides,” said Mr. Tham.
Similarly, in Dak Tuc village (Dak Kroong commune, H.Dak Glei), where the Po Ko river flows, productive land is “eaten” every day. In particular, a stretch of Highway 14 tens of meters long is also threatened by the river. Currently, the flow has eroded a part of the road guardrail and the riverbank embankment. Notably, the kindergarten – primary school in Dak Poi village (TT.Dak Glei) is in danger of being “swallowed” by the river. Not far away, many houses on the riverbank are also afraid of landslides.
Mr. Nguyen Ho Chi Tin (living in Long Nang village, TT.Dak Glei) whose house is located on Po Ko river, said that over the years the river has washed away the garden land behind his house. The landslide caused his family to live in fear. “In 2022, my family borrowed hundreds of millions of dong to build the embankment and build the back of the house. Now it’s calm, hopefully the embankment will last a few more rainy seasons,” Mr. Tin said. .
According to Ms. Dinh Thi Y Ngoc, Head of H.Dak Glei Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Po Ko river flows through 5 communes and towns of the district. About 5 years ago, the river flow changed, affecting the lives of households. The district has relocated about 244 households in the communes of Dak Man, Dak Kroong, Dak Pek and TT.Dak Glei located in the area affected by the river avalanche, to new safe places.
Currently, along the Po Ko River, there are more than 65 households at risk of being affected by landslides. To ensure the stability of life, property, public works of the state as well as of the people, the People’s Committee of H.Dak Glei proposed the People’s Committee of Kon Tum province to consider allocating funds to approve the river management plan. Po Ko and investment in embankments to prevent landslides on the river. “The Po Ko River flows through the district with a length of over 32 km. The locality has invested in building embankments with a length of nearly 2 km. In the immediate future, it is necessary to prioritize investment in about 5 km of embankment west of the Po Ko river from district political center to the end of TT.Dak Glei to ensure the safety of households,” added Ms. Ngoc.