LookAtVietnam – With its drainage system unable to cope with the rainy season, floods are likely to continue in Ha Noi until the end of October.
Heavy rains cause flooding in Ha Noi. With a substandard drainage system, floods are likely to continue in the city until October.
Limited human resources and finance mean only inner districts such as Hoan Kiem, Dong Da, Hai Ba Trung and Ba Dinh are getting drainage upgrades, said Ha Noi Drainage Company’s Study and Design Plant director Nguyen Luong Ngoc.
As a result, nearby areas like Long Bien, Cau Giay and Thanh Xuan were reliant on the agricultural drainage. If there was a repeat of last year’s heavy rains, the areas drainage wouldn’t be able to handle floods, he said.
The Prime Minister approved a drainage master plan for Ha Noi which included building and upgrading systems for the To Lich and Nhue river valleys.
But the city could only give priority to upgrading the To Lich river basin (central Ha Noi) system due to a limited budget, said Do Anh Tuan, deputy director of the master plan’s management board.
The plan envisaged a system to handle up to 310mm of rain over two days and treat water to environmental standards, he said.
Apart from increasing the Yen So pumping station’s capacity to 90cu.m per second, the plan focused on dredging rivers, lakes and enlarging auxiliary channels and drains to reduce inner city floods, he said.
The first part of the plan, worth VND2.7 trillion (US$151.2 million), was completed in 2005 with the construction of the pumping station with a capacity of 45cu.m per second and two waste treatment facilities and the dredging of rivers and lakes.
The second part, worth more than VND6.3 trillion ($352.8 million), focused on upgrading drainage in the To Lich and Nhue river basins, doubling the pumping station’s capacity, upgrading 15 lakes and building more drains. It was scheduled for competition by 2013.
The board’s technical deputy director Le Hong Quan said limited capital was a key reason for the city’s low drainage capacity.
Ha Noi strived to attract more investment to upgrade its drainage but few investors invested in a non-profit sector, he said.
Tran Huu Uyen, an expert from the Ha Noi Civil Engineering University, said poor planning was the main reason for the floods.
In 1939, drainage requirements were 20cu.m per second but it was now hundreds of cu.m, he said. In those days housing was scattered among a large system of rivers, lakes and channels. When construction rapidly encroached nearer rivers and lakes, drainage development was limited.
He said while waiting for drainage master plans, Ha Noi should take temporary measures such as upgrading and building drains for quicker clearance and design a system of drainage lakes.
During last October’s heavy rains in Ha Noi, 20 people died and damage was estimated at VND3 trillion ($168 million).
Long Bien district authorities were urged to move 10 households in a serious danger area from a landslide in the Ngoc Thuy ward after a check on Thursday, said the Ha Noi People’s Committee Vice-chairman Trinh Duy Hung.
Recent rains caused a 100m landslide which was 4-5m deep. It was a threat to 141 households, but especially 10 near the Hong riverbank, said the Ha Noi storm and flood prevention and control and dyke management department.
The district authorities were also asked to speed up a resettlement project for people forced to relocate as a result.
The committee would recommend to the municipal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development that dykes are repaired as soon as possible.
VietNamNet/Viet Nam News