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Missing barriers add threat to Saigon canal system

By Quynh Tran, Dinh Van   May 12, 2022 | 07:53 pm PT
Many canals running through residential areas in Ho Chi Minh City have lost parts of their barriers, putting local people, especially children, at risk.
Missing barriers add threat to Saigon canal system

HCMC is home to around 110 rivers and canals stretching nearly 1,000 kilometers in combination, a dense system that contributes to the city’s tourism development, facilitates good transportation, regulates the overall temperature, and eases urban flooding.

However, a lack of proper safety management has posed threats for those living alongside the waterways. Most recently, two children aged six and four had drowned in So Ro Canal flowing through Thanh Xuan Ward of District 12 on Monday.

Missing barriers add threat to Saigon canal system

The canal where the accident took place was created more than a year ago from a branch of the Vam Thuat River, a tributary of the Saigon River. It is surrounded by 70-centimeter barriers but in the area where the two children had drowned, a three-meter section is missing.

The kids, who were brother and sister, were playing together just before they fell into the water. It was their mother and neighbors who discovered their bodies in the canal after hours of searching.

"If the barrier had not been missing, the kids could not have fallen into the canal," a local named Nguyen Duc Thang said.

Missing barriers add threat to Saigon canal system

Authorities in Thanh Xuan Ward said the barriers might have been stolen.

The base of the railings is fixed to the concrete base by steel screws but many of those screws are not tightened, making it easier for thieves to steal the barriers.

The ward has reestablished the missing section after the tragic accident.

Missing barriers add threat to Saigon canal system

Nguyen Van Phong, 52, who lives near the end of the canal, said there is a seven-meter section of the barrier that has been missing for almost six months now.

"The water level in this section is higher than an average adult. I always tell my family to take caution and never let any children play in this area," he said.

Missing barriers add threat to Saigon canal system

A barrier section is missing at Nuoc Den Canal in Binh Tan District in March.

After local people reported the situation, authorities had reestablished the barriers in April.

Missing barriers add threat to Saigon canal system

Another section of Nuoc Den Canal on Tan Ky – Tan Quy Street that has no barriers.

Missing barriers add threat to Saigon canal system

Along the Saigon River in Thu Duc City’s Hiep Binh Chanh Ward, a 200-meter barrier of concrete and iron has grown derelict over the past five years.

Missing barriers add threat to Saigon canal system

Most of the iron bars are rusty and broken.

Missing barriers add threat to Saigon canal system

The river bank where the barriers are missing is where local people often come to take fresh air and fish in the afternoon.

 
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