|Riverbank strengthening work along the Lũy River in Bắc Bình District was inaugurated on Thursday. — Photo courtesy of the Belgian embassy|
HÀ NỘI — A newly-built dyke project using financial assistance from Belgium is expected to provide protection to as many as 500 people living on the banks of the Lũy River in Bình Thuận Province’s Bắc Bình District.
A press release issued by the Belgian Embassy in Hà Nội on Thursday states that the riverbank strengthening work conducted from April to December 2018 used 567,000 euro (US$653,000) from Belgian funds and another 76,600 euro from other sources.
While many sections of the river have unstable banks, two sections were identified as critical, including 330m of the river bank in Phan Thanh Commune, and 250m of the river bank in Chợ Lầu Town, it said.
The construction includes concrete and rock reinforcement of the river bank plus a concrete road to enhance all-weather access. As a cost-saving measure and to enhance aesthetics, the design incorporates reinforced vegetation sections at the top of the bank.
The dyke forms part of Belgian-funded projects targeting the two provinces of Bình Thuận and Ninh Thuận in the fields of irrigation, sanitation, protection of the environment and water management since 2005.
During a working visit to the two localities between Wednesday and Friday, the Belgian ambassador to Việt Nam Paul Jansen said he was looking forward to the positive changes brought about by the projects.
“I feel very proud that the co-operation between Việt Nam and Belgium has brought so many positive changes to the lives of people from Ninh Thuận and Bình Thuận,” he said.
“Of the projects I have visited, some completed recently and some finished a long time ago, their life-changing results will last long into the future, so will the co-operative relationship between our two countries.”
In Bình Thuận Province, the ambassador also talked with beneficiaries of the 2014-19 project titled Integrated Water Resource Management and Urban Development in relation to climate change with a total budget of six million euro, including 0.8 million euro from counterpart funds.
Focusing on the rural areas and small towns in the vicinity of the Lũy River, the project supports a structured approach to climate change adaptation with an emphasis on water resource management, flood management and urban planning.
Meeting with some beneficiaries of the Việt Nam-Belgium micro-credit project at the Việt Nam Women’s Union in Tân Lập Commune in the province’s Hàm Thuận Nam District, the ambassador learned that after the project closure in 2012, the Credit Support Fund was maintained and further developed by the Việt Nam Women’s Union, operated professionally and more effectively. It even attracted private investors.
Through 15 years of implementation (1997-2012), more than 52,000 poor women had access to credit and business development services thanks to the financial support of nearly VNĐ45 billion ($1.9 million). — VNS