Ho Chi Minh City hopes to tackle flood issues
  • | | November 01, 2010 03:47 PM

Ho Chi Minh City authorities have asked scientific agencies to conduct supplementary research to help the city deal with flooding issues in a sustainable way.

The proposal was made when many of the city’s big anti-flooding projects totaling are incomplete but deemed to be backwards in more complicated climatic changes.

Inundation is among pressing issues of Ho Chi Minh City

Incomplete but backward projects

During early years of the 21st century, Ho Chi Minh City has dealt with rigorous flooding. The city’s water drainage system is designed to serve a 35-square kilometre residentual area of just 1.5 million people. However, the population scale of the 140 square-kilometre central city alone has jumped up to seven million people.

The system is out-of-date, using the technology of 50 years ago, with over 60% of the drains failing to meet with technical standards. Experts say they need to be upgraded or replaced.

The city has received loans from the World Bank to repair the drainage system and tackle the flooding through launching a range of big water drainage projects, including Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe water hygiene project, project for improving water in Tau Hu-Ben Nghe-Doi Te Canal, project for urban environment upgrade, and more.

To date, these projects have not yet been completed. Only 27.5% of work package A under the Tau Hu-Ben Nghe-Doi Te Canal project has been completed. A mere 30% of work on the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe project’s canal dredging item has been finished.

Despite being under construction, experts have raised concerns that these projects will be backwards in progress. For instance, the water environment improvement project is designed to bear a maximum rainfall of 90mm, based on the estimated highest flood level of 1.29 metres on the Saigon River.

However, in recent years, the flood levels in the city have often surpassed 1.40 metres and rainfall has even soared to 90cm. Thus, the project is unlikely to be effective in fighting against flooding.

Water drainage projects have not yet been completed but thought to be backward

International scientists forecast that Ho Chi Minh City will be among ten cities in the world suffering the most serious results of global climate change.

Supplementary research

The Ho Chi Minh City authorities have proposed that scientific agencies conduct supplementary research to help the city deal with flooding in a sustainable way.

Vietnamese experts and Dutch consultants are outlining flood-prevention plans, combining the four factors of rain, flood tide, flood and ecology into an integrated one which will serve as a foundation for detailed orientations and prioritised investments for the city’s inundation prevention in different periods.

Additionally, scientific organisations have surveyed suitable locations for building water regulating lakes (collecting rain water) in an effort to ease overload for the municipal water drainage system. This work will help the organisations to make a general plan for the construction of the lakes in the city.

Experts have also built maps to assess and manage flood-caused risks for forecasts and warnings at inundation areas. This will support them to make proper investment decisions for flood-sustainable prevention and eradication goals.

At a meeting on submergence prevention in Ho Chi Minh City on October 27, Le Thanh Hai, Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee, suggested the research to use concrete or uPVC plastic for embanking canals. Ho Chi Minh City is now home to nearly 2,000 kilometres of canals.

Leave your comment on this story