Outmigration and urbanization.

Over the last years, the Mekong Delta has experienced a drastically increasing trend towards cross-regional outmigration, with the majority migrating to HCMC in search for employment while remaining relatively close to their home provinces. Within the delta, Can Tho is the only province experiencing net in-migration.

The strong outmigration results to a large degree from the economic transformation process in the rural area, with many farmers pushed into landlessness and high numbers of work force shifting to urban centers for non-farm income generation.

Urbanization has been important not only for providing central places with social and cultural functions such as healthcare and education, but also for facilitating economic growth and initiating the transition towards development of the secondary and tertiary sectors. In most cities, the strong urban growth has exceeded the capacity for adequate infrastructure planning, with a neglect of socially inclusive development and an insufficient legal framework for land regulation. The current masterplans on socio-economic development envisage further development of industrial zones, but urban planning seems to be relatively uncontrolled (not demand-oriented and competing at district and/or provincial level) with climate change impacts increasingly uncovering shortcomings from insufficient integration and static urban planning and management. Most migrants will probably not be able to enter into the currently developing housing market focusing mainly on upper and middle-class population, and will likely to have difficulties in finding infrastructure meeting their needs.

Municipal solid waste is increasing quickly and has become one of the most serious environmental problems in Mekong Delta. The region produces about 5% of the total amount of solid waste in Vietnam. Collection rate of solid waste are quite high in the larger cities (approximately 70%) and rather low (<50%) in the rural areas, with uncollected waste illegally disposed on unused land, rivers and canals.