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Ho Chi Minh City has spent lots of money upgrading its drainage system. People have put up with green barriers erected for the sake of street upgrades with the hope that the city won't suffer from flooding anymore.

However, has the upgraded drainage system proved itself yet? Streets that have never seen floods now suffer the same fate as others.

With the way things are going, perhaps rich people will buy yachts to go around the streets in the rainy season in a couple of years!


The more things change"¦

I raise just one question to the city authorities. It's also an old question that has been asked for a long time. "Why is it that the more we fight against flooding, the more heavily flooded our city is?" Is it because Vietnam doesn't have the capacity to do it or is it because of other reasons? Every year we fight floods, we spend money, and we undertake "strong" measures. But the flooding just gets worse every year. I can't understand it. People have spent lots of money, but the only answer given by contractors of anti-flooding infrastructure is that "it is currently under construction..."

Huynh Ngoc Khanh (District 7, HCMC)

In circles

I'm from the southern province of An Giang. My hometown is usually flooded, but Long Xuyen Town is almost never flooded. When I came to HCMC, I saw some areas get submerged just 15 minutes after heavy rains started. To stop the flooding, the government raised the height of the streets, and then people increase the height of the ground floor of their houses.

As this area gets higher, water flows to other lower areas, prompting the latter to raise their height as well. Everything then just goes around in circles, and citizens are still victims to floods. In my opinion, the city's leaders should consider different solutions, including those put forward by locals and experts, to ensure that anti-flooding efforts really work.

Tran Van Loi
(Long Xuyen Town, the southern province of An Giang)

Stop waiting

I live in Ward 26 of Binh Thanh District, which was heavily flooded between November 4 and 11. Water from the river flowed into our alley and then our houses, bringing rubbish with it. Everybody was exhausted from fighting against the flooding. But not a single official came to see how we were doing. Luckily, an old man in the neighborhood came up with a solution to tackle the flood with a stainless steel panel, a pumping machine and a couple of rubber washers. Thanks to his initiative, the neighborhood isn't flooded anymore. This showed me that people need to join hands to save themselves first, even as we wait for officials to come and review the situation and undertake anti-flooding measures.

Khuong Thanh
Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street, Ward 26, Binh Thanh District, HCMC

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