Nov 14, 2012

Vietnam - $1.24 billion needed to rescue Saigon from flooding

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VietNamNet Bridge - By 2070, there will be nearly 10,000 hectares, 257,000 people, 1,494 km of roads and many production facilities, industrial parks being flooded due to high tides and the sea level rise, according to a workshop assessing the risk of climate change on human health in HCM City on November 13.

At this workshop, experts said that climate change has made the appearance of diseases affecting human health. They also demonstrated that climate change affects flooding, especially in big cities like Ho Chi Minh City.

In particular, Mr. Bui Chi Nam, from the Southern Institute of Hydrometeorology and Environment showed a flooding script in Ho Chi Minh City to 2070 (excluding the impact of rain).

Nam said that flooding in Ho Chi Minh City is caused by many effects, including rain, high tides plus the rise of upstream water. Skipping the rain factor, only high tides and the sea level rise have affected the city's flooding.

He said that by 2070, there will be nearly 10,000 hectares in the city to be flooded, especially in the districts of Can Gio, Nha Be, Binh Chanh, Thu Duc and District 12.

Based on research data, Nam proved that by 2070, flooding caused by high tides and sea level rise under the impact of climate change will seriously affect land use planning, water resources, infrastructure, manufacturing facilities, industrial areas and people in HCM City.

Specifically, if in 2020 when the sea level rises by 8cm, Can Gio District will have 546 hectares being flooded but in 2070 when the sea level rises by 37cm, the flooded area in this suburban district will increase to 1,565 ha (2.1% of the total area of the district). In particular, according to the calculations of the Institute, Binh Chanh will be the most flooded district with 17.59% of the total area (about 4,447 ha in 2070), followed by District 12, Thu Duc, District 2 and Binh Tan District.

According to Nam, flooding will also affect the traffic system. "By 2020, there will be about 949 km of roads in the city being flooded. By 2070 it will increase to 1,494 km of roads," Nam added. Currently, HCM City has 3,897 roads with a total length of 3,534 km.

The city’s industrial and manufacturing facilities will also be flooded by 2070, such as Le Minh Xuan Industrial Park with 34.37% of the total area, Phong Phu Industrial Park with 29.11% of the total area and the High-tech Park in District 9 with 1.65% of the total area.

Nam confirmed that there will be about 257,000 people affected by flooding, with Binh Chanh District (68,808), District 12 (62,687), Thu Duc district (34,818 people) and Binh Tan District are most severely affected.

"To cope with climate change, Ho Chi Minh City needs to develop a coordination mechanism and a more effective action plan," Nam suggested.

Earlier, at a meeting of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment proposed the city to allocate VND26 trillion ($1.24 billion) to develop plans to respond to climate change by 2015.

Specifically, the money will be pumped into projects related to urban planning, water resources, energy, agriculture, waste and raising people’s awareness of climate change.

Ta Lam

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