Ho Chi Minh City is set to begin implementing two projects worth over VND21 trillion (US$944.7 million) for flood control and sewage management in the near future.
Vulnerable to rising tides of the South China Sea, and flooding from the Saigon River, the city will erect extensive tidal defences, upgrade its narrow drains and build sewage treatment plants, according to reports.
The projects for tidal flood control, with investment being nearly VND10 trillion ($449.8 million), and a drainage system, costing over VND11.1 trillion ($500 million), are intended to improve the environment and boost tourism as well as economic growth in the southern hub upon completion.
According to the Investment Management Authority for the Ho Chi Minh City Environmental Sanitation Project, a new pipeline system is scheduled to be built in October.
A sewage pipe, 3.2 meters in diameter and eight kilometers in length, will connect the southern section of the Saigon River with the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Wastewater Treatment Plant in District 2.
Vuong Hai Long, director of the management authority, stated that the new drainage system will carry sewage released from households along the Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe Canal section in District 5 and from residential areas in District 2 to the factory, instead of pumping it into the Saigon River.
The treatment plant will be constructed in Thanh My Loi Ward on an estimated area of 38.4 hectares, with a capacity of 480,000 cubic meters per day, which is the highest nationwide, Long said.
After its completion in 2020, wastewater will be purified before being released into the city’s rivers.
The project received a total capital of $524 million, of which $450 million was provided by the World Bank while the rest came from the state coffers, the director added.
A similar plan has already been executed, with VND8.6 trillion ($386.9 million) in investment capital.
The two projects are expected to improve the local environment and the livelihoods of over two million residents in District 1, District 2, District 3, District 10, Phu Nhuan District, Tan Binh District, Binh Thanh District, and Go Vap District.
Flood-free life for 6.5 million citizens
Construction of many components of the tidal flood control project has been initiated, intended to eliminate inundation in 19 out of 24 districts in the city.
Dams will be built along a 7.8 kilometer section of the Saigon River bank and more conduits will be constructed to better regulate floodwater.
Two pumping stations, whose capacities are 12 and 24 cubic meters per second, are also set to be constructed in areas vulnerable to rising tide.
According to Nguyen Tan Tien, director of Trung Nam Corporation, developer of the project, recent downpours and high tide have posed challenges to the city’s drainage system and seriously impacted local residents.
“This flood control project will deal with inundation caused by rising tide,” Tien asserted.
The scheme, upon completion, will prevent flooding within an area of 570 square kilometers, home to 6.5 million citizens, said an official of the municipal People’s Committee.
It will also help boost the city’s economy and competitiveness and thus attract more investment from domestic and foreign businesses, the official continued.