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Saigon Officials Hope to Spend $62m on Mobile Water Pumps

In an effort to tackle Saigon's flooding problems, city officials may invest VND1.4 trillion (US$62.8 million) in the creation of a flood response team equipped with mobile water pumps.

Though we've been spared high water levels recently, Saigon will be gearing up for rainy season in a few months. According to Thanh Nien, a representative from Saigon's management center for anti-flooding programs confirmed the organization has submitted a proposal to the People's Committee in hopes of purchasing new anti-flooding technology ahead of the impending downpour.

If approved, city funds would go toward the purchase of 63 mobile pumps, each capable of collecting 20-60 cubic meters of water per minute, which would be used on 30 flood-prone streets around the city. All water collected would then be transferred to nearby canals or sewers. Municipal officials would have three years to implement the plan.

While some view this type of flood management as a step in the right direction, others have raised concerns over the purchase of the water pumps. Urban planning expert Pham Sanh, for instance, pointed out the city's previous, marginally successful efforts to improve its current pump system, according to Thanh Nien. Based on past results, Sanh wondered whether new water pumps were the answer, suggesting instead that city funds go toward the expansion of Saigon's sewer system.

Others, such as Le Thanh Cong, director of Saigon-based sewage consultancy company D&C, put forth the idea of transforming urban canals into reservoirs to help assuage the city's flooding woes.

Whether or not the water pump proposal goes through, municipal authorities are setting aside over VND156 trillion (US$7 billion) to bolster the city's anti-flooding efforts in the next five years.

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