Delta ir­ri­gation project ap­proved

Caùi Lôùn-Caùi Beù plan to con­trol river salin­ity

Viet Nam News - - NATIONAL -

KIEÂN GIANG — The Caùi Lôùn- Caùi Beù ir­ri­gation project in the Mekong Delta has been ap­proved by the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment, ac­cord­ing to Leâ Hoàng Linh, di­rec­tor of the min­istry’s Ir­ri­gation Work In­vest­ment and Con­struc­tion Man­age­ment Board No 10.

The project, which will con­nect the Caùi Lôùn River to the Caùi Beù River in the Delta, is ex­pected to im­prove agri­cul­tural and aqua­cul­ture pro­duc­tion, con­trol salin­ity, fight the ef­fects of cli­mate change, and sup­ply fresh­wa­ter to An Minh and An Bieân dis­tricts dur­ing pe­ri­ods of low rain­fall.

Con­struc­tion on the first phase of the project, slated to be com­pleted by the end of 2021, will oc­cur in Chaâu Thaønh Dis­trict on 54.5 hectares of land. It will cost over VNÑ3.309 tril­lion, of which VNÑ3.3 tril­lion will be from Gov­ern­ment bonds.

Phaïm Vuõ Hoàng, chair­man of Kieân Giang Peo­ple’s Com­mit­tee, said the project would help com­bat cli­mate change (which the prov­ince is es­pe­cially sus­cep­ti­ble) and will bring value to the area and nearby re­gions. The Peo­ple’s Com­mit­tee and Kieân Giang’s Na­tional Assem­bly del­e­gates strongly backed the project, and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties said they con­sulted ex­perts about the project.

Nguyeãn Vaên Ñoàng, di­rec­tor of the Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment Depart­ment of Haäu Giang Prov­ince, said that it would be prefer­able to have ei­ther fresh­wa­ter or sa­line wa­ter since a mix­ture of the two is prob­lem­atic.

As part of the project, lo­cal farm­ers will re­ceive train­ing on how to adapt to cli­mate change.

Ear­lier, many ex­perts had ex­pressed con­cern about the project and ques­tioned its im­por­tance and ef­fec­tive­ness.

Pro­fes­sor Leâ Anh Tuaán from Caàn Thô Univer­sity, for in­stance, said that it would harm the bio­di­ver­sity of the re­gion, and that the build­ing of a sys­tem to keep out salin­ity and pre­serve fresh­wa­ter could pol­lute fresh­wa­ter as the chem­i­cals from farm­ing is not be­ing washed out into the sea.

Pro­fes­sor Döông Vaên Ni from the univer­sity said that farm­ers were us­ing salt­wa­ter for aqua­cul­ture, and ques­tioned how the con­trol of salin­ity would af­fect that. He also said the lack of di­ver­sity in farm­ing prod­ucts is the is­sue, not the prob­lem of salin­ity and fresh­wa­ter.

Con­struc­tion on the ir­ri­gation project is slated to be­gin near the end of this year. — VNS

Work­ers from the Vò Thuûy Dis­trict Divi­sion of Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment check salin­ity in Caùi Lôùn River in the south­ern prov­ince of Haäu Giang. The Caùi Lôùn – Caùi Beù ir­ri­gation project is ex­pected to help con­trol salt level in the river. — VNA/ VNS Photo Duy Khöông

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