Ho Chi Minh City

Comprehensive plan needed to prevent flooding in HCMC

Ho Chi Minh City has spent VND22 trillion ($961.7 million) for flooding prevention task and the amount is forecast to leap to over VND120 trillion for the problem; however, in reality, the metropolis’s efforts in fighting inundation have been unrewarded.

Comprehensive plan needed to prevent flooding in HCMC

The statement was made at a conference on inundation situation due to heavy rain and tide held by the Environment Technology Center under the Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment. Scientists said that despite the city’s efforts in fighting flooding during ten past years, the results have been discouraging.
Former Deputy Chairman of the city’s Water and Environment Association Vu Hai said flooding situation re-occur yearly worse and worse. On the other hand, more flooded sites have been reported. He blamed the bad situation on ineffective anti-flooding projects run in prolonged time.
Noticeably, inundation is badly affecting city dwellers’ living quality and economy. According to the Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City’s assessment of flood and tide's effect on residents' lives in district 7, a family suffers a loss of over VND13 million ($567.9) on repairing on floor, wall, electric appliances and dredging irrigation system in and outside the houses and a plant or an organization suffers a loss of nearly VND24 million ($1,048) to handle same problems like individual house and other direct expenditures.
Le Anh Tuan from the steering board of flood prevention program said that the city is taking heed to beef up the improvement work of Tham Luong- Ben Cat and Nuoc Len canal with the length of 32km for better irrigation and urban renewal of 14,500 ha basin.
Moreover, the city will dredge Xuyen Tam canal with the length of 8.2km for urban renewal of 703ha.
Additionally, the city will build 76 culverts to control tidal inundation, seven to eight embankments around Sai Gon river bank and 12km dykes in the opposite bank of Saigon river as well as dredge major drainage system in canals Thu Dao, Ong Be, Thay Tieu, Xom Cui and Lung Mam.
It is expected that such projects will be put into operation in 2020 to thoroughly solve inundation problem in the city’s downtown ad parts of suburban districts where 6.5 million people live.
Experts said that construction of dykes and drainage system is not enough. Mr. Hai said that synchronous measures are needed to prevent flooding caused by high tide, heavy rain and waste treatment.
Amidst measures, it needs to build smart dams in Soai Rap river gate and dykes connecting the river with the highway No.50 for prevention of high tide while the city has to make new diagram of rainfalls in the backdrop of climate change lately.
Besides, experts suggested firstly, the city should replace current culverts by new big ones and deploy valve with pump stations. Furthermore, the city should replace current water catch basins and channel drainage with smart ones. Finally, the city should speed up work of waste treatment plant.
In addition, experts pointed out some other measures to fight flooding in the city.

By MINH XUAN – Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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