The Mekong Delta has had to continually face increasing salt penetration and recurring landslides in recent years, but has inadequate funds to even build and upgrade the present dykes or dredge canals.
|Army soldiers fortify the Go Cong sea dyke in Tien Giang Province (Photo: SGGP)|
Parts of An Giang Province are underwater in the flood season but face acute freshwater shortage in the dry season. The province is in dire need of dredging more than 600 canals, which will cost an estimated VND320 billion (US$15.32 million).
So far, the province has put together its limited resources to dredge 150 canals in most dry areas so that water can flow to rice cultivable areas.
Severe shortage of funds is also holding back Ben Tre Province from constructing 170 sluice gates to prevent salt penetration, though it has managed to build at least 90.
The province also needs VND7 trillion ($335.23 million) to build Ba Tri, Binh Dai and Thanh phu sea dykes to lower salt intrusion from rising sea levels.
Nguyen Van Khang, chairman of the People’s Committee in Tien Giang Province, said the province has spent hundreds of billions of dong to fortify and build dykes to protect their fruit orchards, but is short of finances to upgrade several other dykes.
The province has asked the Central Government for VND4.2 trillion ($201.51 million) to upgrade Cho Gao Canal and to fortify Go Cong sea dyke.
Ca Mau Province is in need of VND15 trillion ($718.61 million) to build an irrigation network to cope with rising sea levels. However this amount is out of reach with the central budget also seeing a crunch.
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