$18.2m project aims to improve flood management in central Việt Nam

Update: August, 10/2017 - 18:00
The signing ceremony between the Ministry of Rural Development’s Deputy Minister Hoàng Văn Thắng (right) and JICA’s Chief Representative Fujita Yasuo for a US$18.2 million project aimed at improving Việt Nam’s flood management capability. — VNS Photo Tố Như
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — A grant agreement for a project aimed at improving Việt Nam’s flood management capability with total budget of US$18.2 million was signed on Thursday between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA).

The 36-month project, entitled “Emergency Reservoir Operation and Effective Flood Management Using Water-related Disaster Management Information Systems,” will concentrate on the Hương River – the main river running through the central region of Việt Nam – and its basin.

The two key components of the project are the construction of several hydrological observation facilities to monitor the water level of rivers and dams and the rainfall in the basin of the Hương River, and building water-related disaster management systems to mitigate flood risk in the general Hương River Basin.

The project will increase the number of hydrological observation points which monitor the water level of rivers and river flow volume and shorten the intervals at which rainfall and water level information is disseminated from 60 to 10 minutes, which is hoped to bring more accurate and timely forecasting.

The coastal area of central Việt Nam is often hit by tropical storms, resulting in devastating floods, landslides and other natural disasters every year. In addition, the issues are compound by inappropriate discharge of water from hydropower reservoirs during heavy downpours.

Effective operations of three hydropower dams in the basin – Bình Điền, Hương Điền and Tạ Trạch – and precise river management during torrential rains are considered priorities as evidenced by the Prime Minister’s directive issued in 2013 for proper dam management and stronger safety measures.

Despite the country’s extensive network of rivers and streams, many experts said Việt Nam’s capacity in hydrological forecasting – which should be the prime focus to prevent human casualties and economic losses – remains weak and produces unreliable data, compared to other countries in the region like Thailand or Singapore. — VNS