Dyke system to get upgrade
HA NOI (VNS)— More than VND59.67 trillion (US$2.84 billion) has been earmarked to fund measures to control flooding and provide water drainage and supply to cities and provinces around the Hong (Red) River Delta during the period of 2012-20 under a decision made by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung last week.
|Farmers dredge an irrigation trench in Nho Quan District in northern Ninh Binh Province. Under the new plan, coastal dyke systems in the province will be strengthened to cope with strong storms. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngo Lich
Le Hung Nam, deputy director of the Water Resources Management Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said: "This plan has been updated with current developments and the potential impacts of climate change and rising sea levels in Viet Nam and especially the Red River Delta, where comprehensive work will take place to prevent flooding and utilise the river system to its utmost capacity."
He also said the plan was based on the latest research on dyke systems, pumping stations and reservoirs to work out effective solutions to ensure water supply for 20 million people in the delta and water supply and drainage for 1.3 million hectares of agricultural land.
Under the plan, coastal dyke systems in the cities and provinces of Hai Phong, Thai Binh, Nam Dinh, Quang Ninh and Ninh Binh and river dyke systems along the Red, Ninh Co, Thai Binh, Kinh Thay and Day rivers will continue to be strengthened to cope with the strongest storms and high tides.
Flood drains to the sea will be built along the Red River via the Ba Lat estuary, the Duong River via the Van Uc estuary, and the Kinh Thay River via the Cam estuary.
Barriers in the river beds which prevent water from flowing and houses situated along the drainage routes will be removed.
Medium and small-scale reservoirs will be checked and repairs will be made where necessary to ensure safety. Large-scale pumping stations including Lien Mac, Cau Xe, Vinh Tri, Co Dam and Huu Bi will be upgraded.
An observation system will also be set up to assess the safety of the projects.
Delta cities and provinces, especially Ha Noi which are always on high alert during the rainy season because of weak points in their dyke systems, have backed the plan.
Do Duc Thinh, director of the Ha Noi office of the Flood, Storm Control and Dyke Management Department, said landslides along the city's 470-km dyke system had occurred more frequently this year than in the previous three, and with more serious consequences.
There have been more than 10 landslides since the end of August, putting local people's lives at risk.
Nguyen Huu San, a resident in the city's Ba Vi District, said a landslide 50-70m long and 15-20m deep had swept a large part of his garden into the river in one of the most serious incidents to have occurred for years.
If the dyke system was not improved, landslides and fissures would become more serious. His family was one of four who had been relocated, he said.
San said he and his neighbours just wanted the threat of the dyke collapsing to go away so they could focus on agricultural production and other work.
Hoang Thanh Van, director of the city's Agriculture and Rural Development Department, said that a comprehensive assessment of the dyke system was needed, because just patching it up was not enough to ensure the safety of the whole system.
Investment procedures for the degrading dyke systems also required a lot of time and effort, he said.
Officials and residents agreed that for the implementation of this plan, barriers should be removed.
Regarding water supply, reservoirs located on the upper reaches of Red River in the provinces of Son La, Hoa Binh, Lai Chau and Tuyen Quang will be regulated in co-ordination with high tides to supply water for agricultural production in the dry season.
Research on stabilising the flow of water in the Red and Duong rivers and finding solutions to raise water levels to ensure the operation of pumping stations in the dry season will be implemented to the year of 2015.
Water inlet sluices in the Thai Binh and Moi rivers and fresh water storage works will be constructed.
Nam said the plan also focused on raising people's knowledge about climate change and rising sea levels, improving the effectiveness of management on irrigation works, the operation of reservoirs, and sand exploitation along river banks.
A specific co-ordination mechanism on this issue between relevant agencies would be applied, he said.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has entrusted the ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Planning and Investment, Environment and Natural Resources and the relevant cities and provinces to implement the measures needed for the plan.
Specifically, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is responsible for co-ordinating with localities to work out specific tasks based on the list of priorities.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment with relevant agencies will allocate funding which is expected to come from the State budget and people's contributions.
Finally, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources will increase management of sand exploitation along river banks.— VNS