Dilapidated reservoirs pose risks to residents

As many as 320 reservoirs nationwide risk breaking during the rainy season, heard a workshop on irrigation system management held yesterday in Ha Noi.

The event was co-organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

"Many reservoirs are in really bad shape as they were built a very long time ago, using low-quality local materials and poor building technology," said Dang Duy Hien, deputy director of the Department of Irrigation and Hydraulic Works Management under the Directorate of Water Resources.

The government is struggling to manage the thousands of reservoirs scattered across the country and the national budget allocated for repairs fails to meet demand.

These 320 account for less than one-third of the country's 1,150 reservoirs in need of repair, spread across 45 provinces and cities and accounting for about 17 per cent of the country's total reservoirs.

Sumihiko Noguchi from the Japanese ministry stressed the need for regular maintenance of dams to ensure their safety. He recommended that Viet Nam apply a regular inspection system for dams.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Hoang Van Thang said that he expected more co-operation from reservoir and dam owners and local authorities to tighten management over the structures.

"The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is working on a programme to completely ensure the safety of all reservoirs and dams by 2020," he said.


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