Ho Chi Minh City

HCMC to make efforts in addressing urban flooding

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) People’s Council Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam announced at the forum ‘Urban Flooding in HCMC – Reasons & Solutions’ yesterday that the flooding situation in the city has become worse and worse, creating much concern among city dwellers.

The basic cause of urban flooding in HCMC is the unsuccessful sewage treatment

The basic cause of urban flooding in HCMC is the unsuccessful sewage treatment

According to Mr. Nguyen Hoang Anh Dung, Deputy Director of the Steering Center of the Urban Flood Control Program HCMC, recently, his center has focused on addressing urban flooding in the downtown basin and a part of the five urban basins in an area of 550km2, accommodating around 6.5 million citizens.

His staff has also tried to improve the water environment, increase the space of water reservoirs, and create attractive cityscapes in order to develop living standards and protect the environment.

At the moment, 22/37 hotspots of urban flooding have already been tackled (accounting for 59.46 percent) and the other 15 routes are now being dealt with. It is expected that in 2020, all tasks will be completed.

When explaining for the fact that many streets are flooded whenever it rains, Mr. Dung shared that the drainage system of the city is quite small, while littering is still a serious problem, all of which have impeded the sewage flow.

In addition, there are many cases of illegal land encroachment near the opening of the drainage system, yet no actions have been made to address that.

Sharing his feeling in the event, Mr. Ngo Chi Hung, a worker of the HCMC Urban Drainage Co. Ltd., expressed how upset he was when people in many construction sites, restaurants, or food shops thoughtlessly throw litter into the drainage system. Much of this litter is fat substance, which easily impedes the water flow, let alone other dangerous kinds like waste, injection needles, broken bottles, knives that can harm sanitation workers.

His hope is that people have higher awareness and stop littering public space and drainage systems. That will also prevent occupational accidents among sanitation workers.

Expressing her apology to these workers on behalf of the municipal authorities, Ms. Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam promised to focus more on the task of raising people’s awareness of this issue.

Vice Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen welcomed all suggestions of citizens to tackle urban flooding and admitted that this is a very challenging problem, caused basically by the unsuccessful sewage treatment in the city.

Furthermore, the drainage planning of the city has become so outdated, along with the ineffective management.

The city, therefore, is going to focus on urgent tasks first while socializing projects to fight against urban flooding, hoping to have many breakthroughs in the future. Simultaneously, the local authorities will be stricter in addressing illegal land encroachments to clear the openings of the drainage systems.

Meanwhile, the evaluation on previous actions, which cost dearly yet delivered very poor results, must be done to pinpoint weaknesses and correct them. All must be done to ensure quick sewage draining.

Concluding the forum, Ms. Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam insisted that the fight against urban flooding is one of the critical tasks of the city to boost the economic and social development and to answer the urgent request of city dwellers.

By QUANG HUY - KIEU PHONG – Translated by Thanh Tam

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