VietNamNet Bridge – Having been settling in the western area of the southern
region for the last decades, local residents still cannot lead peaceful lives
because their houses may blown off at any time, making them homeless.
Mrs Xe and her grandchildren
Mr. and Mrs. Xe’s house is located at the crest of the land in the contiguous
area between the mainland and the sea. This is called the “lucky house” in the
Cai Cam hamlet, because the house can receive the last rays of sunlight of the
day from the west sea.
However, the owners of the house are not lucky. Mr. and Mrs. Xe have been living
on the Phu Tan land area in Ca Mau province for the last many years, but the
things they have saved for their whole lives are not enough to ensure a happy
life for their children and grandchildren.
They have always been living in fear, because they have to struggle with too
many problems in their lives. Especially, they have been usually attacked by the
water rising and the floods.
The six children of Mrs. Xe all got married and have their children already. The
grandchildren stay with Xe every day. Xe is not only respectful to them like
many other grandmothers, but she is also the saver of her children’s lives. When
floods rushed down suddenly, it was Xe who brought the grandchildren away to
escape from the floods.
Every year, Xe works as the “babysitter” for the grandparents once, in the water
rise season, when her children leave her grandchildren with her.
The house where Xe and her grandchildren are living is the fourth one installed
in recent years. The previous three houses, and the water jars, have been swept
away by the floods.
When reporters came to visit Xe’s house, they saw with their eyes a bamboo
bridge installed right inside the house. Xe said the bridge helps her and other
family members move around when the floods come. It was built last April with
the support of the neighbors and her son-in-laws
“Previously, my home was on the edge of the river. However, the house and all
the things in the house were swept away by the floods,” Xe said.
“The floods rushed down at midnight. Everything was swept away and nothing could
be saved. Only my children could carry away a wardrobe,” she added.
On the land area where Xe and her grandchildren live, there was no solid house.
Local residents always get ready for an evacuation, when floods rush down. They
do not intend to build solid houses, because they would have to leave the houses
one day, when the sea encroaches more on the mainland.
Local residents, pointing to the deserted land, said there were houses, shrimp
ponds and the forests, but they all have been swallowed by the sea waves.
The residents here said they repeatedly have to build new houses. When the third
house of Mr. and Mrs. Xe broke down, they decided to call for the assistance of
the commune’s authorities. When the fourth house was built, they received VND1
million from the local authorities.
Xe said she is lucky because she can receive the help from neighbors, who give
timber to build house, from the war old veterans’ association which creates
fresh water source. The support by the local authorities helps Mr. Xe ease his
pains from the stomach cancer.