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HCM City seeks funds for waste water treatment, flood-prevention projects

Update: August, 11/2018 - 09:00
Streets in HCM City are usually flooded because of rain or high tide. — VNA/VNS Photo An Hiếu
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY —  HCM City is seeking funds for 17 flood-control and wastewater treatment projects because of a city budget shortfall, authorities said at a meeting on Thursday.

Trương Vĩnh Tuyến, deputy chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said: “All anti-flooding and wastewater treatment projects must be transparent and public. The city has a huge demand for anti-flooding projects, but we face a limited amount of capital.”

According to the Steering Centre of the Urban Flood Control Programme, in the 2016 - 20 period, the city needs total capital of VNĐ96.3 trillion (US$4.2 billion), of which VNĐ23 trillion ($1 billion) has already been invested. The city is continuing to seek VNĐ73.3 trillion ($3.2 billion).

Seventeen anti-flooding and wastewater treatment projects were introduced at a seminar under the private-public partnership (PPP) investment mode.

Seven of them are wastewater treatment projects, with capital ranging from VNĐ5 trillion to 10 trillion ($217 - 434 million).

Another 10 anti-flooding projects include construction of a water collection system and dredging canal system. The existing drainage system of HCM City is around 4,176 km in length.

The city has only completed four major drainage systems at a total length of 60.3km and finished two plants for a total of 12 treatment plants.

The city has completed 64 of 149 km of the dyke system along the Sài Gòn River, and only one of 10 key tide control gates, according to Nguyễn Hoàng Anh Dũng, deputy director of the Steering Centre of the Urban Flood Control Programme.

“We have a lot of works that will control flooding efficiently,” he added.

Laurent Umans, first secretary for Water Management and Climate Change at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, said: “HCM City is sinking! Land subsidence might be as high as 7 cm each year. In the next 50 to 100 years, a large part will be below sea level,”

He raised two questions on how to deal with the uncertainties and to secure investments to smartly and creatively design a transformation process to adapt to the new existence.

Climate change, landslides and groundwater levels are three uncertainties directly related to water.

“In the Netherlands, we have developed adaptive management approaches to ensure cities and deltas are resilient in the face of unpredictable climate changes. Uncertainty should not result in a wait-and-study response. Immediate action is required and possible,” he said.

For the second question, he said that in the Netherlands, the Delta Fund has a long-term budgetary commitment of 1 billion euros each year for co-investment of waterworks.

“The top priority investment aims to quickly reduce groundwater extraction and ensure the city does not grow toward the sea, and to invest in interconnecting HCM City’s key assets, not only through infrastructure but also in economic, social and cultural exchanges,” he added.

Rotterdam has been working with HCM City to develop a Climate Adaptation Strategy. — VNS

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