Can Japanese anti-flood strategy keep Ho Chi Minh City dry?

By VnExpress   October 22, 2016 | 03:00 am PT
Underground reservoirs should keep the flood-stricken city above water.

Ho Chi Minh City has approved a pilot project proposed by the Sekisui Chemical Co. from Japan to battle flooding using a reservoir lined with polypropylene plastic to store large amounts of water.

The project is expected to reduce flooding across the city by 30 percent, by storing tens of millions of cubic meters of rainwater in large reservoirs around the city, according to local media reports.

Sekisui said it will take about nine months to build the first reservoir with a capacity of about 100 cubic meters. The planning and construction will be sponsored by the Japanese firm.

This Japanese strategy looks like a suitable solution for Ho Chi Minh City, where land is being eaten up quickly. The new form of material known as “cross-wave” is ideal for small areas and easy to install.


A street in Ho Chi Minh City after torrential rain. Photo from VnExpress/Pham Duy

The surface above the reservoirs could be used for parking or even parks and stadiums, with a vertical bearing capacity of up to 25 tons.

The HCMC Steering Center of the Flood Control Program said the project will be reviewed before the city decides to build a series of reservoirs to cope with chronic flooding.

Ho Chi Minh City is vulnerable to flooding, and many of its streets are transformed into small rivers after torrential rain.

According to local media, the city needs up to VND97.3 trillion ($4.38 billion) for anti-flooding projects by 2020 as urban infrastructure can no longer sustain a population of around 12 million.

Established in 1947, Sekisui Chemical Co. has different business lines, including urban infrastructure and environmental products.

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