urge urban management to help solve HCM City flooding
|Experts say that serious
flooding, like what took place in Nguyen Huu Canh Road, Binh Thanh
District earlier this week, must be controlled. — VNA/VNS Photo Trang
HCM CITY — Good
management of the city’s urbanisation and economic growth is the only
sustainable solution to HCM City’s flooding woes, experts have said.
projects currently under way could only deal with flooding after it happens
rather than address the causes, they said.
A recent report by the
People’s Committee admits there are still around 100 locations in the city
that are flood-prone, exactly the same as in 2000, though flood-prevention
measures were carried out in recent years.
The report blames illegal
encroachments of rivers and canals and heavy rains for the flooding.
The experts preferred to
look at the bigger picture and blame it on haphazard urbanisation and economic
Encroachment along the
city’s rivers and canals has limited the flow of water, causing water levels
to rise higher every year.
While the sea level in
neighbouring Ba Ria — Vung Tau Province has remained unchanged since 1990, the
city’s rivers and canals have risen an average of 1.5 cm a year.
The experts said cementing
of land surfaces and emissions from vehicles and factories were making the city’s
microclimate warmer as well as bringing more rain.
Ho Phi Long, deputy head
of the city’s Flood and Storm Control Committee, said the flooding occurs not
just in low-lying districts.
Districts situated higher,
like 9, 12, Binh Tan, and Tan Phu, now have the largest number of waterlogged
sites, he said.
While some old sites have
been improved, new flooding sites are springing up, he said.
Despite having many canals
for draining water from rains and high tides, the city’s south, including
Districts 7, Nha Be and Can Gio, have also been waterlogged since 2006.
In the inner city, both
the number of sites and frequency of flooding are up.
In Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe
area alone, 12 spots were flooded 60 times in 2003. The figures increased to 13
and 64 times in 2006.
The city currently has in
the works four large flood-prevention projects at a cost of around US$800
million using Official Development Assistance funds.
They include the Nhieu
Loc-Thi Nghe canal drainage project and the Hang Bang irrigation canal drainage
project. The projects are expected to be completed by 2010. — VNS