|The Son Doc 2 sluice, located in Hung Le Commune, is part of the Northern Ben Tre Irrigation Project. — Photo sggp
BEN TRE (VNS) — An irrigation sluice gate officially began operating in Ben Tre Province's Giong Trom District yesterday, aimed at preventing salination and supplying fresh water for local farmers.
The Son Doc 2 sluice, located in Hung Le Commune, is part of the Northern Ben Tre Irrigation Project.
Project director Do Van Nhan said work began on the Son Doc 2 sluice in March 2013 with a capital investment of VND150 billion (roughly US$6.8 million).
He said it was a very important component of the bigger project, helping supply fresh water for 11,000ha of agricultural land in the districts of Giong Trom and Ba Tri.
Overall, the project is expected to prevent saline water intrusion while irrigating 140,000ha of crops and providing 20,000ha of water surface for aquaculture in the districts of Binh Dai, Ba Tri, Giong Trom and Chau Thanh, and Ben Tre City.
It will also help develop road and waterway transportation in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province.
Officials said the supply of fresh water would provide residents with the "big opportunity" to sustainably cultivate crops and breed livestock in the province.
Cao Van Trong, Chairman of the provincial People's Committee, said yesterday that in recent years, the province has built several irrigation works benefiting hundreds of thousands of local households and facilitating socio-eco nomic development.
Hoang Manh Thang, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said at the inauguration that the Delta in general and Ben Tre Province in particular faced many water resource management challenges as a result of large-scale hydropower dams as well as irrigation works built upstream on the Mekong River.
Climate change and resultant rise in seawater levels compounded the problems, he said.
The ministry had been working with local authorities to find suitable solutions, Thang added.
It was also co-coordinating with relevant offices to arrange funding for the completion of key irrigation works in Mekong Delta provinces, including the Northern Ben Tre Irrigation Project, he said. — VNS