Delta irrigation project approved
Caùi Lôùn-Caùi Beù plan to control river salinity
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