HCMC seeks another $102 mln to improve drainage, mitigate flooding

By Huu Cong   November 10, 2020 | 05:04 am PT
HCMC seeks another $102 mln to improve drainage, mitigate flooding
A woman and her motorbike fall on a flooded road due to high tides in District 4, HCMC, October 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
HCMC has registered to borrow an additional 10.8 billion yen ($102 million) from the government's foreign loan capital for its ongoing water environment improvement project.

The funds is to be used for the second phase of the project. This will involve completing the rainwater drainage system, preventing flooding and addressing environmental sanitation in low-lying areas of the city and surrounding areas in the basin of the Doi-Te, Tau Hu and Ben Nghe canals. The second phase seeks to improve environmental sanitation through better wastewater collection and treatment systems.

The funds will be borrowed for 30-year period. The city budget and other sources will be used to repay the debt.

The entire project was approved by the prime minister in 2005. Work was expected to start in 2010 and be completed in four years. The project has suffered many delays since and its due date has been rescheduled to 2022.

The project consists of six main construction and installation packages with a total investment of more than VND11.28 trillion ($485 million), including nearly 46.5 billion yen ($442.4 million) in official development assistance (ODA) from Japan, and more than VND1.45 trillion in counterpart capital from the city.

The 35.7 billion yen (nearly $340 million) ODA agreement for the project, implemented in several phases, was negotiated and signed three different times.

Its first phase has been completed.

Speaking at a meeting Monday, the city’s vice chairman Vo Van Hoan said that after eight years, the project has used up three loan packages from the Japanese ODA pact.

He said the time taken to access each loan package had contributed to the delay in implementing the project. The delay, lasting years, has adversely affected the lives of those living along the canals, he added.

The Tau Hu-Ben Nghe Canal flows 22 km through districts 1, 4, 5, 6, and 8, the Te Canal flows 4.5 km through districts 4 and 7, and the 10 km Doi Canal flows through District 8.

For many years now, HCMC residents have suffered severe flooding during high tides and heavy rains. In the first nine months of this year, the city counted an additional 18 routes getting inundated during heavy rains.

The total of 35 routes that got flooded between January and September was more than double the 17 recorded during the same period last year, according to a report by the municipal Department of Construction.

However, the report also noted that the number of streets submerged by seasonal tides dropped from 14 to just four: Le Van Luong in District 7, Dao Su Tich in Nha Be District, Nguyen Van Huong in District 2, and Binh Quoi in Binh Thanh District.

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