Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Serious flooding of large areas in the centre of Hà Nội due to prolonged heavy rainfall in the past several days is significant evidence that a project on improving the sewage system has failed to meet its target of completion this year, experts have said.
Professor Dương Thanh Lượng, a city water drainage expert said yesterday the recent floods were mostly caused by incomplete connections between drainage systems in old living quarters and new ones.
Lượng said a construction boom in many new urban areas around Hà Nội was the main cause of a sudden increase of waste water, resulting in high pressure on the city’s sewage system.
Meanwhile, the second phase of Hà Nội’s water sewage project, which started in 2008 and is expected to complete by the end of June this year, was now suffering delays in site clearance in many districts, a report from the city’s Construction Department said.
The project, with loans supported by the Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA), was aimed at reducing floods and improving the city environment.
It was first targeted to complete in 2013 but was extended till the end of last year.
During its implementation, the project continued to suffer from suspensions due to problems in site clearance and the relocation of residents in the areas affected.
The construction department’s report revealed slow progress in site clearance and relocation of local residents, resulting in increased investment capital from VNĐ6 trillion (US$268 million) to VNĐ8 trillion ($358 million).
The city authority and its Japanese partner were also forced to extend the completion date of the project to the end of June.
This had added more challenges for the city’s water drainage issues, particularly with the rainy season approaching, the water sewage expert said.
According to Võ Nguyên Phong, deputy director of the Hà Nội Construction Department, construction units are mobilising all efforts to upgrade parts of the water sewage system which was under stagnation after floods in some areas including Đống Đa District’s Khâm Thiên and Khương Thượng wards.
At a press conference held last month by the city People’s Committee, the authority warned about 16 locations around the city likely to face serious floods if the rainfall level topped 100mm in two hours.
Torrential rain in recent days has caused serious damage to many regions across the country particularly Hà Nội, HCM City and a number of provinces nationwide.
Initial report from Hà Nội Standing Committee on Disaster Prevention and Control said a total of 1,600ha of rice and crops had been submerged in floods.
Meanwhile, latest reports from the southern Hậu Giang and Kiên Giang provinces’ disaster prevention and control committees said heavy rain and whirlwinds occurring since Tuesday, had destroyed dozens of houses and flooded more than 500ha of rice in the provinces.
Serious landslides were also reported in some areas in Châu Thành A District, Hậu Giang Province causing damage to inter-provincial rural roads. — VNS