ADB to help Ho Chi Minh City adapt to climate change

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will send experts to Ho Chi Minh City to help it adapt to climate change, which is forecast to seriously affect the city’s development by 2050 if no proper action is taken soon, ADB deputy country director for Vietnam, Putu Kamayana, said on July 14.

A flooded street in HCM City, which is a common scene during heavy rains or high tide in the city (Photo: Thanh Nien)

He was speaking at a seminar, jointly held by city authorities and the ADB, to seek solutions to cope with the impacts of climate change on the city.

The bank’s experts, expected to be sent before October, would assist the city in studying impacts of climate change and working out measures to minimize harmful impacts, he said
  
All of the costs for the project would be covered by the bank, he added.

Ayumi Konishi, the ADB country director for Vietnam, said effects of climate change have already been seen in South Vietnam, including the city and its neighboring areas, with the country possibly losing 17.3 percent of its GDP due to negative effects of change.

”To minimize impacts of climate change, we should anticipate what we will face and how to cope with it,” he said.  

Mr Konishi said the bank is cooperating with the International Center for Environmental Management (ICEM) to develop a project for studying possible solutions to help the city adapt to changed climatic conditions.

The project will include construction of embankments and dykes, including those connected to a flood control system, along the Sai Gon River; management and restoration of the Can Gio mangrove forest; re-forestation in the upper Dong Nai River; improving current systems of rivers and canals; and protecting and restoration of urban flood areas.   
 
Climate change may hit 62 percent of city’s population

Climate change will lead to immeasurable consequences for Ho Chi Minh City in the future, unless it takes proper action soon to cope with it, experts warned.   

Dr. Jeremy Carew-Reid, an ICEM expert, said that over the past 30 years, the city’s climate has changed remarkably and it is one of the ten cities in the world that will suffer the most from the climate change by 2070.

In terms of population to be most affected by that time, the city ranks fifth, he added.

The city has long been vulnerable to flooding due to high tide and heavy rains, even when the sea level is normal, the head of the Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment, Dr. Tran Thuc, said.

Of the city’s 322 wards and communes, 154 (48 percent) can often become flooded and the number may increase to 177 by 2050, with many areas in the city expected to be inundated for more than 100 days per year, the department said.

And in 2050, 62 percent of the city’s population, or 13 million people, will be affected by abnormal flooding, far higher than the current 26 percent, 1.7 million people, experts warned.  

Mr Thuc blamed the situation on the city’s urbanization, which is rapidly taking place while its infrastructure fails to catch up.

Sources: SGGP, Thanh Nien – Translated by Truc Thinh

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