Geography

The Mekong Delta lies at the Southern tip of Vietnam. It is characterised by its vast, fertile flood plain, and a network of canals and small villages. In the North and West there are some hilly regions, and to the East lies Ho Chi Minh City. The Mekong Delta experiences a tropical climate with a wet season which lasts the majority of the year. The region is also an important source of biodiversity.

The centrally located city of Can Tho is an important economic, and cultural hub, as well as a centre for research, particularly in the field of agriculture. The famous Can Tho Bridge, which was completed in April 2010, provides the only road access the Bassac River, a distributary of the Mekong River, which otherwise creates an obstacle between the Mekong Delta and the rest of Vietnam.

The district of An Minh, a costal district within the Kien Giang province, is characterised by the typical fertile flood plains seen throughout the Mekong Delta. The coastal region also contains mangrove forests which provide an important breeding ground for the local fauna and provide a buffer to the inland areas from the coastal weather. The government is making the reforestation and protection of these mangrove forests a priority for the region. 

Communes

The district of An Minh is divided up into communes. The communes are not organised into villages with a typical cluster of housing or buildings, although they are more densely populated in the centre, but rather the houses are spread out along the banks of the canals and waterways that criss-cross the district. Lying in between the canals are the rice paddies and agricultural fields. One reason that the houses are located along the banks of the canals may be to maximise space for agriculture.

The canals are the main routes for transport in the district, and boats the main form of transport for both people and goods. One can purchase goods for most household needs from the boats that travel along the canal, even the local dentist has a floating practice. There are also narrow roads for motorbikes and pushbikes that run along the canals and in between the rice paddies. Narrow bridges and ferries carry people and bikes from one side of the canals to the other. Take a look at the maps and transport homepages for more information. 

In the centre of each commune is the loudspeaker system. The loudspeakers and the main way that the government communicates with the people. The daily announcement contains news, new information, weather information and warnings. Take a look at the ICT homepage for more information. 

 

 

Images: Left: Canals in the An Minh district. Right: Boat shop selling food and household goods along the canals

A typical home

The Vietnamese have a very communal society with households consisting of several generations. To gain a better insight into life in An Minh and what a typical home looks like take a look at the video below showing a walkthrough of a typical home. The photos and interview were completed on the 17 Nov 2011 by Habitat for Humanity Vietnam and Engineers Without Borders Australia staff. 

 

 

Government & development

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a single party communist state governed by the Communist Party of Vietnam. In Kien Giang the government has identified several development priorities for the province. In a special issue of Kien Giang Union of Friendship Organizations (2011 - 2016) the development priorities are listed as:

  1. Rehabilitation of coastal mangrove forests and create livelihood model to cope with climate change
  2. Build houses for the poor to cope with climate changes
  3. Build concrete bridges to replace the "monkey" bridge
  4. Construct transportation routes in rural areas
  5. Train, support work for youth and handicapped
  6. Waste treatment for hospitals
  7. Build / repair schools in rural areas
  8. Support insurance and scholarship for poor pupils
  9. Waste water treatment for Rach Gia city and other districts
  10. Protect women and children from the risks of trafficking, sexual exploitation and forced labor
  11. Support children with wheelchairs and orthopedic / heart surgery expenses 
  12. Afforesting the region to increase the coverage in order to protect environment and cope with climate change
  13. Handling environmental pollution in residential areas 
  14. Together help the victims of agent orange / dioxin in Vietnam
  15. Creating livelihood models for people so they are able to respond to climate change
  16. Creating livelihood for people with straw mushroom models, water hyacinth knitting and handicrafts
  17. Cattle breeding for poverty reduction
  18. Fish farming in cages on islands
  19. Biodiversity conservation of rare animal genetic sources
  20. Preventing HIV / AIDS for teenagers
  21. Creating waste management model in the community 

 

You can download a scanned copy of the special issue of Kien Gian Union of Friendship Organizations (2011 - 2016) here:

Kien Giang government development priorities

Environment

 

Historical data from 2006 - 2010 for annual rainfall and average relative humidity is available for RachGia which is the closest large city to the An Minh district. 

- Annual rainfall and average relative humidity data

 

Multimedia