Dams in Vietnam's Central Highlands in state of disrepair, pose threat of bursting

Provinces in the Central Highlands region face the risk of reservoirs bursting since hundreds of them are damaged or degraded.

Dams in Vietnam's Central Highlands in state of disrepair, pose threat of bursting
A reservoir in Ea Rai Commune in Dak Lak province’s Ea H’Leo district

The warning comes even the peak of the raining season has yet approached. In the Central Highlands, the rainy season begins in May and ends in October.

According to figures from the Department of Irrigation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the region has 1,150 water reservoirs and more than 5,000km of canals.

Nguyen Hoai Duong, Director of the Dak Lak Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province has nearly 780 irrigation works including 607 reservoirs with total capacity of 620 million cubic meters, and they have yet to undergo safety verification but show signs of degradation.

Of note, about 102 reservoirs operated by rubber farms, plantations and rubber companies are highly unsafe, the Nhan dan (The People’s) newspaper reported.

Truong Duc Thanh, Director of the Irrigation Division in Tuy Duc district, Dak Nong province, said most of the reservoirs in the district are damaged and unsafe after several decades of use.

But the allocation of funds to repair them is insufficient, he said.

 

During a working tour of Kon Tum, another Central Highlands province, Nguyen Van Tinh, head of the irrigation department, said relevant agencies must assess all reservoirs for their capacity to withstand bad weather and floods and the conditions of residential areas in their lower section.

Provincial authorities are responsible for the safety of these reservoirs and dams and agencies at district and commune levels, for small reservoirs, he said.

District and commune authorities should organise advanced training courses to improve the capability of officials managing these reservoirs, educate residents on reservoir and dam safety and raise their awareness of responding to incidents happening at these facilities, he added.

According to the Irrigation Department, 12 trillion VND (518 million USD) was spent to repair 633 reservoirs, and more funds are required for another 1,200 reservoirs around the country.

Of them, 450 were listed in a 433 million USD project to repair and improve safety.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has asked for 287 billion VND to repair and renovate 47 reservoirs in 19 provinces and cities in the central and Central Highlands regions.-VNS/VNA

 
 

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