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As Rainy Season Begins, Saigon Needs $90m for Flood Prevention

As the first signs of rainy season appear over Saigon, the city needs more than VND2 trillion (US$90.2 million) to carry out its various flood prevention efforts.

With 56 different projects in the works, the city's Steering Center of the Urban Flood Control Program (SCFC) has managed to earmark VND725.3 billion (US$32.6 million) for anti-flooding work, reports Tuoi Tre. Twenty-three of these projects are geared toward alleviating high water levels on six streets around the city, namely Do Xuan Hop, Kinh Duong Vuong, An Duong Vuong, National Road No. 13, Nguyen Xi and Ung Van Khiem.

In addition to these specific roads, SCFC also aims to install tidal gates on Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal in order to control water levels in Districts 1, 3 and 10 as well as Binh Thanh and Phu Nhuan Districts.

However, the municipal government is still short VND1.3 trillion (US$58.3 million) of its VND2 trillion (US$90.2 million) goal.

Experts from SCFC are encouraging local authorities to review the city's outdated plans for flood prevention as well as its sewer system. Given Saigon's rapid population growth – before 1975, the city was home to 2 million people; today, its population is over 10 million strong – the government's old methods are no longer enough to handle the city's increased flooding.

Last year, as Saigon transformed into a swimming pool following heavy rains, local residents struggled to navigate waterlogged roads and lingering floodwaters filled residential homes in Binh Tan District and District 2's Thu Thiem.

Torrential downpours also threatened to shut down Tan Son Nhat International Airport, flooding the runways and putting the airport's electrical power source in jeopardy. The municipal government has since approved a VND950 billion (US$41.8 million) reservoir project which it claims will reduce flooding by up to 30%, and there are also plans to purchase US$62 million worth of mobile water pumps to assist in flood reduction.

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