EU, France fund $30 million northern flood prevention project

By Viet Anh   November 4, 2021 | 03:24 am PT
The European Union and France agreed Wednesday to fund a 26.1 million euros ($30.3 million) to enhance flood risk management capacity of Dien Bien Phu Town in Vietnam's northern highlands.

Two financing agreements were signed by Bertrand Walckenaer, Deputy General Director of the French Development Agency (AFD) and Dinh Toan Thang, Ambassador of Vietnam to France, in Paris on the occasion of Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's official visit.

The support includes a loan of 24.65 million euros from AFD for infrastructure development and a 1.5 million euro grant (non-refundable aid) for technical assistance through the Water and Natural Resources Management Facility (WARM) funded by the EU, according to a press release from the French Embassy in Hanoi.

"It will help address challenges and support the resilience of this city of 150,000 inhabitants," the release said.

Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including heavy rainfall and associated flooding in the town in Dien Bien Province, which is frequently exposed to flooding from the Nam Rom River in spate.

Food causes higher water level of a river in Dien Bien province in 2017. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Thanh.

The swollen Nam Rom River in Dien Bien Phu Town in Dien Bien Province in 2017. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Thanh

The five year (2022-2026) project will improve the town's capacity to adapt to climate change impacts, in particular to the flooding of Nam Rom River. It is expected to reduce riverbank erosion, urban flooding and improve livelihoods of the riverine population. It will construct and operate hydraulic works along the Nam Rom (rehabilitation of the riverbank and river weirs).

Besides, it will assist the town in adopting nature-based approaches with eco-friendly engineering techniques and the development of spaces with more room for the river during high flooding periods.

The EU grant via the WARM Facility will be used to provide technical assistance to the project.

The support will build local stakeholders' capacity in project implementation and multi-disaster risk management.

The capacity-building exercise will include hazard and vulnerability mapping and promoting integrated urban development strategies.

The project will also provide local authorities with a better decision-making tool through hydrological data analysis and development of a hydrological and hydraulic model of the Nam Rom River system.

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