Vietnam metro to ease flooding with $666 mil from WB

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A man stands in his flooded house during high tides in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City December 5. Photo by Diep Duc Minh

Ho Chi Minh City announced plans Monday to use US$666 million in World Bank loans for flooding reduction via drainage and water pollution clearance projects in outlying districts.

Nguyen Huu Tin, the city's vice chairman, said at a meeting that the money will be spent building a dyke against high tides that can also function as a dock at the mouth of Vam Thuat River, which connects Districts 12 with Hoc Mon.

He also said the money would help dredge Go Vap District's major canals -- Tham Luong, Ben Cat, Rach Nuoc Len -- as well as small waterways connected to the canals. The funds would also go to building a rain and sewage drainage in Go Vap, he said.

The city will provide data upon the bank's request to help estimate flood risks in the areas to plan the projects, which were discussed at a meeting in late November between the city government, the agriculture ministry and the global lender.

Tin said the projects' plans would be available for assessment in January.

City chairman Le Hoang Quan said at a meeting with councilors last week that VND8.178 trillion (US$387 million) had been spent since 2011 on anti-flooding projects that were "not really effective."

Many areas have flooded easily during rains and high tides, which have climbed to new record highs both last year and this year.

Besides poorly constructed flood prevention projects, the city is also threatened by sinkage.

Experts recently found that the city is sinking by up to 20 millimeters (0.8 inch) a year due to geological factors, urbanization and dwindling groundwater.

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