VietNamNet Bridge – Experts said that Vietnam’s mega-city is flooded because its canals have been filled up. The city plans to spend over 10 trillion dong ($527 million) on flood-prevention plan but local residents will remain vulnerable to floods for at least another eight years.
The government approved HCM City’s flood prevention plan in 2008 whichaimed to put an end to floods by 2012, with total investment reaching 10 trillion dong.
However, deputy director of the Centre for Water Resource Research, Pham The Vinh, said that the plan will not be accomplished by 2012.
“Canals in the city are filled owing to the weakness of the agencies in charge of managing them,” said Dr. Le Phu, former head of HCM City-based Ton Duc Thang University’s Technology Faculty.
According to HCM City Department of Transport, the city has nearly 700 rivers and canals, totaling more than 1000km. Of which, 108 river routes and over 660 canals are helpful for water drainage in case of a flood tide orheavy rains. However, many of them have been filled up.
Thousands of households in District 8, 7 and 8 have filled up the canals to build houses.
Experts said that if the canal management is not improved, HCM City can’t prevent floods effectively, though it pays millions of US dollars a year.
They are also worried about the rise of the water level in Saigon River, under the impact of climate change. Deputy director of the Centre for Water Resource Research, Pham The Vinh, said that flood tide in Saigon River is around 0.83cm higher annually.
Scientists suggested building a dike around the city to protect it from flood tides. The total capital for this project is estimated at 11 trillion dong (nearly $580 million).