What’s On

Saigon homes left underground after road elevation

By Thanh Nguyen   March 13, 2017 | 12:30 pm GMT+7

An upgrade to a road in Binh Thanh District has left some houses a meter below ground level, but life goes on.

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Residents in Ward 17, Binh Thanh District, said the road in front of their houses has been elevated from 0.5 to 1.2 meters after an upgrade to renovate the drainage system three months ago. "The new road looks very spacious and people are glad about it. But I feel more reluctant to get out of the house because I fall over a lot," said Nguyen Thi Tao, 82.

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The elevated road is almost 1.2 meter higher than the floor, so Tao had to build these brick steps to give her a way out.

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About 30 houses have been turned into underground basements after the upgrade to Phan Van Han Street. Many local families have decided to close the front of their homes and use the back door as the main entrance.

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Le Dang Minh said he and his 11-member family find their house stuffy after the upgrade.

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Huong, a local, had to setup a small ladder to climb out of her house.

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"My husband and I don't have the money to raise the floor in our house, so we have to get used to crawling in and out," said another local named Truong Thi To Nga.

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Nga's house is half-a-meter below the road.

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"This situation affects our living and trading activities," said Phan Kim Sa.

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Man, a local resident, watches over his family's motorbikes because they can no longer park them inside.

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Temporary stairs have been made from all sort of materials, helping adults and children climb into their homes.

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Nguyen Kim Loan enters her house down stairs. The upgrade work means she and other locals no longer suffer from a nearby polluted canal.

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"Without any money, I don't know how to raise my floor up to the road level now," said Thuy.

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A few residents have eraised their floors to street level. In other areas where upgrade work has been going on, such as Kinh Duong Vuong and Pham Van Dong, some locals have chosen to rebuild their foundations or build completely new houses.

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