Degraded dams, reservoirs pose threat to lives, irrigation

Update: February, 02/2018 - 12:00
Phú Vinh Dam in Đồng Hới City is seriously damaged. - Photo
Viet Nam News

QUẢNG BÌNH — Residents of the central province of Quảng Bình are living in fear as degraded reservoirs and dams in the area can break down any time, reports the online newspaper

Phú Vinh Dam, located 7km of Đồng Hới City, is in a dilapidated condition. The dam was subsided for many years and was temporarily reinforced by sacks of stones. Its gates are broken, exposing the rusty steel bars inside.

An Mã Dam in Lệ Thủy District is in a similar condition.

Nguyễn Văn Anh, a local living near An Mã Dam, told the newspaper that like many locals, he too worried about his safety, as the dam could break any time, especially in the rainy season.

“The dam is very old. We are living under it and felt threatened. We don’t know what the consequences will be if the dam breaks,” said Anh.

Another threat to the dam’s stability is the use of mines for fishing, which is a regular practice.

According to Nguyễn An Tư, deputy director of Irrigation Construction Service Company, there are currently some 50 dams and reservoirs in Quảng Bình Province, built with soil in the 1970s and 1980s.

So far, many of the constructions are badly damaged and degraded. Last year, storms destroyed and swept away several dams, Tư said.

He expressed concern about the safety of soil dams.

“Thượng Mỹ Tư Dam, which provides water to the biggest paddy field in the province, is at high risk of collapsing any time,” he said.

“If the dam breaks, salty water will spill over to more than 20,000ha of rice fields in Quảng Ninh and Lệ Thủy districts,” he said, adding the task of cleaning up the saline intrusion would take five to seven years.

For many years, Quảng Bình Province has used loans offered by Asian Development Bank and World Bank to repair and upgrade some major dams.

The provincial People’s Committee has also asked the Government, organisations and businesses for financial assistance to upgrade damaged dams and reservoirs. — VNS