HCM City struggles to control flooding
VietNamNet Bridge - Nguyen An Nien, a leading water resources expert, says that controlling floods remains a thorny problem in HCM City.


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‘When will we be able to stop the floods’ is the question that every city resident wants to ask. What would you say?

It is really difficult to give an answer to the question. We can control floods in some locations with partial solutions, but we still don’t have a master solution.

The floods in HCMC are caused by two factors, high tides and rainwater. To deal with the high tides, Trung Nam Company has been building a VND10 trillion system of tide prevention culverts, expected to be completed by this year-end. 

The culverts have brought positive effects. Nhieu Loc – Thi Nghe canal, Van Thanh area, the streets of Bui Huu Nghia and Cau Bong no longer suffer from high tides.

However, it is very difficult to deal with floods caused by rainwater. A smart suction pump has been installed on Nguyen Huu Canh street. However, this is just a temporary solution. 

How do you assess the efficiency of the pump on Nguyen Huu Canh? Should it be applied on a large scale as a solution to the whole city?

Such a pump can be installed in six to seven places, and that is all. It can help drain water for 30-40 hectares only, which is nothing compared with the total area of 1,095 square kilometers in 2008 programming.

In 2006-2016, the streets of the city became sites for the construction of anti-flood works. The city’s leaders said that the works will basically settle the floods. However, the problem seems to be even more serious. Why?

Because the system is ineffective. It is true that the floods in some streets have become even more serious. Tran Hung Dao street and Hoa Binh Market, which did not suffer from floods in the past, now get inundated when it rains heavily. 

Billions of dollars and nearly 10 years have been spent on the works. Could we learn a lesson from the failure?

The lesson has been very expensive. It is necessary to lead the water to the nearest sluices. The 2.2 meter sullage pit on Tran Hung Dao, which links to Ben Nghe Canal, is ineffective because of the long distance of 5 kilometers. This makes it impossible to drain water quickly.

Combating floods was the key task for the last four terms of HCMC’s leaders. Do you think the problem will be settled?

This is a global problem. However, other cities in the world only get inundated when rainfall is over 200 mm. In HCMC, rainfall of 40-50 mm is enough to cause floods.


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Vu Trung

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