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Netherlands promises to help Thu Duc City handle urban flooding

By Huu Cong   January 15, 2021 | 08:46 pm PT
Netherlands promises to help Thu Duc City handle urban flooding
People helps motorbike drivers through a flooded street under the rain on Vo Van Ngan Street of Thu Duc District, HCMC, June 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The Dutch government will support HCMC and its newly created Thu Duc City with urban development, including flood mitigation.

At a meeting with Dutch diplomats in Vietnam, deputy chairman of Ho Chi Minh City, Le Hoa Binh, said he hoped "the Netherlands will help Thu Duc City deal with urban flooding and make it a new city that is sustainable and adapts well to climate change."

Thu Duc City, created by merging districts 2, 9 and Thu Duc, comes into being in March this year.

It is expected to function as an "innovative urban area" encompassing the hi-tech park in District 9, the university precinct in Thu Duc District and the new urban area and financial center on the Thu Thiem Peninsula in District 2, helping fulfill HCMC’s plans to become a smart city.

Elizabeth Akkerman, the Dutch ambassador to Vietnam, said the Netherlands would help HCMC and Thu Duc City become smart cities and prevent flooding and provide them with advanced construction technologies.

HCMC and the Dutch government have so far signed several memorandums of understanding in areas like flood protection and water supply.

In May 2019 HCMC sent a delegation of officials and experts to the Netherlands to study its urban development and flood management methods.

Recently the city Department of Foreign Affairs announced that the Dutch government and businesses seek to carry out an anti-flooding project in Thu Duc City in the form of a public-private partnership at a cost of more than $1 billion.

To carry it out, the Dutch government requires the city’s guarantee, support and preferential conditions, Tran Phuoc Anh, acting director of the department, said.

The department has called for completing the formalities for the project, he said.

District 2, home to a large expat community, suffers regular flooding after heavy rains.

Thu Duc District is the most elevated area in HCMC, but that has not helped it escape seasonal flooding, and its residents suffer from inundation of streets and even houses every time there is heavy rain or a high tide.

Vo Kim Cuong, the city’s former deputy chief architect, said last September that HCMC’s flood control efforts have been too tardy, and as a result even high places like Thu Duc have seen worsening floods in recent years.

While the existing drainage system is outdated and yet to be upgraded, more buildings have come up across the city, reducing the drainage capacity, Cuong said.

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