Police fine driver VNĐ41 million for overloading bus
The bus driver did not have his driving licence.
The driver, Nguyễn Phi Sơn, 37, was fined VNĐ17.5 million ($750) for carrying 52 people on the bus which had a capacity of only 40 people. Sơn tried to flee from the spot when the police ordered him to stop.
The owner of the vehicle was fined VNĐ24 million ($10,600).
Previously, Sơn’s driving licence was seized by the province’s police in connection with a traffic accident.
Vietnamese man has tongue bitten by grass snake
A man in the southern Vietnamese province of Tra Vinh has been hospitalized after having his tongue and hand bitten by a grass snake while drinking rice wine in his front yard.
L.V.L., 52, residing in Cau Ke District, was drinking when a grass snake bit his hand and later his tongue as he took a closer look at the animal.
The man was immediately brought to the 121 Military Hospital in nearby Can Tho City for emergency care.
Aside from his swollen hand, a large bump formed on his tongue after the snakebite, causing difficulty breathing and increased mucus production.
Doctors at the infirmary performed an emergency tracheostomy on the patient in order to allow him to breathe before injecting snake antivenoms and applying antihistamines, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory, and anti-clotting medications.
L.’s wounds stopped bleeding and his condition was basically stabilized following the doctors’ efforts.
After four days of treatment, the swelling disappeared while the victim could resume normal breathing.
According to Dang Ngoc Thuyet, head of the emergency department of the 121 Military Hospital, the grass snake that attacked L. was not extremely venomous.
However, the wound on his tongue caused many serious complications, Thuyet added.
Vietnamese kids smuggled from France to UK’s cannabis farms: report
Dozens of children from Vietnam are being smuggled from a French refugee camp to the UK to work as slaves at cannabis farms, media reports cited charity workers as saying.
The UK National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) has issued warnings that a group of children including Vietnamese are being kept out of sight of the authorities at the Calaise Jungle before being moved to work in the farms, the Daily Mail reported.
NSPCC said it has inspected the camp and is concerned that criminal gangs are using the settlement as a stop-over for smuggling children to the UK.
The charity said the children would become victims of physical and sexual abuse during the journey, and once in the UK, of labor exploitation, forced marriage and criminal activities as well.
There are hundreds of unaccompanied children as young as nine living in the camp and Vietnamese children are particularly prevalent, it found.
Vietnamese gangs are reportedly rising the UK’s cannabis market, with domination rising from around 15 percent in 2005 to 90 percent last year.
The NSPCC is currently investigating the cases of 72 children who have gone missing from the camp.
Vietnam-France locality cooperation conference to open
The Vietnam-France locality cooperation conference, which will take place in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho from September 14-16, will focus on five big topics with the climate change as a special one.
Truong Quang Hoai Nam, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, said besides climate change, the other four topics are economic and tourism cooperation, education and health, urban development and culture-heritage.
On the sidelines of the 10th conference, the city organises cultural and art activities such as the Vietnam-France art exchange programme, book and photo exhibition, calligraphy, the Vietnam-France cuisine exchange, film screening on the land and people of France and Can Tho’s tourism products.
Can Tho is the third locality in Vietnam hosting the conference, following Thua Thien Hue and Hai Phong, in the 20-year history of the Vietnam-France locality conference.
Many projects have been implemented as a result of the conference.
EVN aims to complete projects in southern islands in September
The Southern Power Corporation has urged contractors to hasten the construction of two projects to bring electricity to Lai Son and Hon Nghe island communes in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang in September.
The Central Power Corporation also plans to put a similar project in Cu Lao Cham Island in Quang Nam province into operation in this month.
The Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) has also continued the construction of other projects, including installing rotors in Lai Chau hydropower plant’s third turbine, and beginning the operation of turbine No. 1 in Duyen Hai 3 thermal power plant.
The group expects to complete the Pho Noi 500kv transformer and Cau Bong-Hoc Mon 220kv transmission line ahead of schedule.
According to the EVN, the S outhern Power Corporation fulfilled a project to bring electricity to nearly 81,000 households in the Mekong Delta provinces of Soc Trang and Tra Vinh in August.
The project helped increase the rate of households with access to electricity in Soc Trang and Tra Vinh to 98.32 percent and 98.48 percent, respectively. Over the last eight months, the National Power Transmission Corporation has implemented the construction of 143 transmission projects.
Pupils in central region get support following environmental incident
Teachers and students in the central coastal provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue, which were affected by the recent environmental incident, have received financial assistance worth over 2 billion VND (90,000 USD) from the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL).
VGCL President Bui Van Cuong led a delegation to Quang Binh on September 5 to hand over the sum to representatives from the provinces, aiming to help local students and teachers overcome difficulties deriving from the incident.
The money will be used to support teachers, present scholarships to students, and drill wells in affected localities.
Cuong said he hopes the support will contribute to stabilising the lives of teachers and students, helping them continue pursuing the teaching and learning cause.
In the same day’s morning, the VGCL President and Secretary of the Quang Binh provincial Party Committee Hoang Dang Quang attended a ceremony to kick off the new school year and presented gifts to teachers and students in the centre for educating disable children in Quang Trach district.
In earlier April, massive fish deaths were reported along beaches in the four provinces.
Initial statistics from the provinces reported some 277 tonnes of dead fish – both washed up on the beaches and farmed from the sea, causing estimated economic losses totaling more than 260 billion VND (11.5 million USD).
Further, at least 123,000 fishermen and locals who rely on the sea for a living or who work in the tourism industry were severely affected by the incident. This has not taken into account the damage to the local environment.
On June 30, Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Limited Company, after admitting its link to the fish deaths, offered a total compensation of 11.5 trillion VND (equivalent to 500 million USD), which will be used to support local fishermen to switch to other jobs and recover the polluted maritime environment.
More women’s engagement to climate change adaptation stressed
Vietnam is urged to strengthen the role of women in climate change adaptation and natural disaster risk management, heard a roundtable workshop held in Hanoi on September 5.
The call was made in the context of climate change and natural disasters becoming more complicated in the coastal country.
Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development showed that natural disasters, including drought, saltwater intrusion, torrential rains with whirlwinds, and prolonged severe cold weather in the first six months of this year, killed 37 people, injured 108 others, and causing damages estimated at 16.9 trillion VND (757 million USD). The damage during the first six months of this year is nearly double than that of the entire 12 months of 2015.
Nguyen Thi Tuyet, Vice President of the Vietnam’s Women Union, said no one else but women had to prepare foods as well as the necessaries of life before, during and even after a storm or a flood for a whole family. They, especially farmers, also directly planted rice and crop.
Therefore, women should receive more promotion to participate in committees of flood and storm prevention and control, or natural disaster control at local levels, Tuyet said.
From making plans on climate change adaptation, natural disaster prevention and control to running those plans, all need the involvement of women, she said.
Shoko Ishikawa, UN Woman Country Representative in Vietnam said women were playing an important role in dealing with climate change and disasters. They are the first ones to take care of family members when disasters strike.
Disaster risk reduction planning and adaptation to climate change would not be successful without including the perspectives of women. Community resilience to disasters could not be achieved without increasing the resilience of women, she said.
“We need to capitalise on women’s resourcefulness as we tackle the challenges of climate change,” she said.
Mary Robinson, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on El Nino and Climate, said at the roundtable workshop that climate change is becoming very serious in all countries.
“It was very encouraging for Vietnam as clearly the country did understand the value of ensuring the full participation of women […in coping with climate change] to make the community more resilient [to climate change],” she said.
If you wanted to change the behavior in a family, it was more likely the woman – a mother, who would be able to change that behavior, and be able to make the family more resilient, she said.
Tuyet, from the women’s union said to do it, the Government was needs to assign an agency to take responsibility in managing all programmes or projects related to improving women’s role in climate change adaptation and natural disaster prevention and control.
Only when the agency is established, would the programmes and projects be smoothly run, without scattering and overlapping, she said.
Nguyen Van Ngan, from southern Ben Tre province’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department, said it was necessary to provide short training courses for local women in planting rice and crops to adapt to climate change impacts as well as natural disasters.
Which kind of trees should be planted, which kind of animals should be raised to better adapt to climate change. Local women need to be told, he said.
Tran Quang Hoai, Deputy Head of Water Resources Directorate under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said authorised agencies were asked to conduct overall assessments on models piloted throughout the country so far to raise women’s resilience to natural disasters. After that, we would multiply good models.
Vietnam is one of countries most vulnerable to, and most affected by climate change and natural disasters. The Global Climate Risk Index 2015 for the period 1994-2013 ranked Vietnam in seventh place. With the majority of the population living in low-lying river basins and coastal areas, it is estimated that more than 70 percent of the population are at risk of multiple hazards.-VNA
NIHBT receives ISBT Award for Developing Countries
The National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT) yesterday received the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) Award for Developing Countries.
The award was presented at the 34th International Congress of the ISBT in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
“The award recognises medical results and efforts of the country’s blood transfusion sector and marks a new milestone of NIHBT’s development in the region and on the international level,” NIHBT Director Nguyễn Anh Trí said.
“ISBT expects Việt Nam to promote blood transfusion services through training courses, which will be organised in Việt Nam early in 2017,” ISBT Excutitve Director Judith Chapman said.
NIHBT is the third medical facility to receive the award, following the Sri Lanka National Blood Transfusion Service in 2012 and the Myanmar National Blood Transfusion Centre in 2014.
The ISBT Award for Developing Countries aims to encourage efforts and progress in improving the quality of national blood transfusion services and to promote connections between developed and developing countries.
Established in 2012, the award is presented to a blood service or centre from a developing country that has made a significant contribution in strengthening blood transfusion practices within the country.
Incinerator put into use in Quảng Ninh islands
The People’s Committee of northern coastal Quảng Ninh Province has agreed to put the domestic waste incinerator into operation.
The incinerator will be used to deal with the large amount of garbage on the two islands of Minh Châu and Quan Lạn this month.
The machine will operate temporarily to ensure the collection, treatment and recycling of domestic waste of the island’s residents, and would be moved to the mainland to avoid environmental pollution or impact tourism in the upcoming months.
Mạc Thành Luân, chairman of Vân Đồn Island District’s People’s Committee, said the committee has directed Vân Đồn Urban Environment Co. Ltd, the unit in charge of operating the machine, to arrange more trucks to collect and transport waste to the two machines to curb the accumulation of waste on the islands.
The incinerator is currently located in Sơn Hào Village in Quan Lạn Commune on more than 10,000sq.m. area, with a capacity of over 10 tonnes per day. However, after the incinerator’s assembly was completed this year, several experts opposed its use in the village, saying its location at the ancient sea port historical site would seriously affect local tourism development. The incinerator’s operation was later halted.
Actor Hán Văn Tình passes away
Actor Hán Văn Tình has passed away at the age of 60 after battling lung cancer for over a year.
The actor was best known for his role as Chu Văn Quềnh in TV serial Đất Và Người (Land and Human).
Tình was born in 1957 in Văn Lang Commune in the northern province of Phú Thọ. He studied at the Faculty of Tuồng Art-Vietnam Tuồng Art School (now known as Hà Nội University of Theatre and Cinema) from 1972 to 1976.
After graduation, he worked as an actor for the National Tuồng Theatre. He also held the position of deputy director of the theatre and won several prizes at national Tuồng Festivals, including a silver medal for his role as Ngự Y (Royal Physician) in the play Tiếng Thét Giữa Hoàng Cung (A Scream in Royal Palace) in 1990 and another silver medal for his role as Thổ Công in the play Bạch Tinh (White Snack) in 1996.
In 1999, Tình was presented with the medal For Vietnam Stage by Vietnam Stage’s Artist Association.
He was, however, best known for playing antagonists in TV serials, notably Chu Văn Quềnh in Đất Và Người (Land and Human), Sở in Bão Qua Làng (Storm Sweeps the Village) and Trọc in Canh Bạc (Gamble).
He was diagnosed with lung cancer in January 2015, but maintained a positive attitude throughout his battle against the disease. Encouraged by family and colleagues, he became better and was able to participate in several shows. In early 2016, despite his condition worsening, he joined the Tết (Lunar New Year) comedy titled Thông Gia Đón Tết (Alliance Welcomes Tết) while undergoing treatment.
Tình was hospitalised on September 1 when the cancer spread to his brain. He passed away at his home in Nam Từ Liêm District three days later. His funeral will take place at Phùng Hưng Funeral Home on September 7.
Tình’s death has caused great sorrow for both his family and the colleagues who accompanied him through the ups and downs of Việt Nam’s traditional opera.
“He was a very good-natured and sincere man who received a lot of affection from us,” actor Công Lý said. “I have worked with him in several films and seen that he always tried his best in any role, even minor ones, to leave a good impression on the audience. We are very saddened by his death,” he added.
Overseas Vietnamese beauty queen faces life sentence for swindling businessman
A Vietnamese-Russian beauty queen has been indicted for fraud after allegedly swindling a Vietnamese businessman out of VND16.5 billion (US$740,000).
Truong Ho Phuong Nga, 29, who won the Miss Vietnam in Russia beauty contest in 2007, can be jailed for life if found guilty.
Her friend, Nguyen Duc Thuy Dung, 27, has been charged with colluding with Nga in the scam, according to the Ho Chi Minh City prosecutor’s office.
Nga, who migrated to Russia with her parents in 1999, she moved to HCM City to work for a communication company and model.
She reportedly told a local businessman, identified only as H., that she had many good contacts who could help him buy houses at low prices.
The man then transferred VND6 billion to her account to buy a house in District 5.
But she later told him the house had been sold.
She then managed to convince him to part with another VND10.5 billion to buy a different house.
Again he failed to get the promised house and with Nga evading him constantly, he demanded his money back and complained to the police.
The police received the complaint in 2014 and called Nga for questioning.
The woman claimed to have repaid H. and produced documents to prove her claim, but the police later found them to be fake.
Nga was arrested in March 2015 at her apartment in District 2. Dung, who was accused of getting the fake documents for Nga, was arrested later.
HCM City poised to pull down hundreds of old tenements
Ho Chi Minh City is set to rebuild at least 237 of its oldest apartment buildings by 2020, resulting in better safety and convenience for residents.
The municipal Party Committee has ordered that a minimum of 50% of 474 dilapidated apartment complexes across the southern hub be demolished and re-built.
The city’s Department of Construction has announced the results of its inspection of several run-down buildings deemed high risk.
One apartment building on Tran Hung Dao Street in District 5 was evaluated as dangerously run down and required to be demolished urgently.
Residents at the venue had been well aware of the building’s poor condition with cracks growing larger inside the walls over the passing decades.
The staircase is dark and can only fit one person while the building materials of several balconies can easily be separated and fall onto people or vehicles traveling below.
According to Tran Nghieng Nhan, a resident of the apartment building since 1961, her 16 square meter studio is where her family members eat, sleep, and conduct their small textile business operations.
As authorities are set to renovate the structure, Nhan hoped that she could resettle elsewhere in order to keep her business operation from being affected.
“We fully acknowledge the dangerous condition of the building but cannot afford to rent a new place for the entire family,” the woman said.
At another apartment building on Long Hung Street in Tan Binh District, a heave mold odor is easily noticeable upon entering and residents are often reminded to walk in safe areas to avoid potential accidents.
A strange set of pumps and water meters connected with a system of pipelines can also be spotted in the hallway, which was established by the residents when the water system of the building broke down.
The entrance to the parking garage and stairway is also so tiny that anyone who wants to pass must lower themselves into the structure.
Situated in a prime location in District 4, the Vinh Hoi apartment complex has been a target of many investors in the city.
However, none of them have been able to bring a new face to the old building given the difficulty in dealing with the resettlement of 240 households inside.
According to the municipal Department of Construction, renovating the dilapidated apartments would help ensure safety for local residents and improve the urban esthetics and environment.
Results of efforts over the past 10 years have been limited however due to the high cost of compensation and resettlement for the owners.
Current policies do not encourage investors to get involved in the reconstruction of such badly degraded buildings.
Chubb Life surpasses US$850,000 in education funding
Chubb Life Vietnam has announced its continued support of four primary schools in Central Vietnam that originally had been constructed with funds donated by the company during the four-year period 2011 to 2014.
In making the announcement, Lam Hai Tuan, president of Chubb Life Vietnam, said the company is committed to providing support for educating youth in Vietnam and teaching them how to achieve their goals in life in a socially acceptable manner.
He said Chubb Life Vietnam is donating computers, books and equipment valued at roughly US$41,000 (VND 900 million) for the purchase of books and other materials for the school libraries and science labs.
The four schools are – Xuan Lam in Phu Yen Province, Trieu Do No. 1 in Quang Tri Province, Quang Thanh No. 2 in Thua Thien-Hue Province and Vinh Thanh No. 2 in Nghe An Province.
We hope that our contribution in some small way will help students at these schools on their life’s journey, said Mr Tuan, and that they will grow up to be responsible citizens giving back to their communities.
Chubb Life Vietnam and its affiliates have to date donated financial assistance in excess of US$850,000 (VND19 billion) in the form of grants and scholarships as well as funding to construct and equip schools in Vietnam.
Work on new French school begins
Work on the new site for the Alexandre Yersin French school was kicked off this morning, September 5, prior to the visit of French President Français Hollande to Vietnam.
The school, located on a 3ha-site in Ngoc Thuy ward, Long Bien District, will replace the current site in Nui Truc Street in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh District.
At the ground-breaking ceremony, André Vallini, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie; French Ambassador to Vietnam Jean-Noël Poirier and representatives from Hanoi People’s Committee laid a stone flag marking the school site.
Speaking at the ceremony, André Vallini, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, said that Alexandre Yersin School has received a certificate for High Quality Environmental standards.
Alexandre Yersin School was established in 1982 in Hanoi and currently teaches 900 students from many countries, including 50% from Vietnam. The school classes range from nursery to high school levels.
Once operational, the new Alexandre Yersin School in Long Bien District would be able to accommodate 1,200 students per year.
French President Francois Hollande will have a speech at the National University, Hanoi, on the morning of September 6.
VND2 billion donated to support needy students in four central provinces
The Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), in co-ordination with Vietnam Television’s Channel 6, presented VND2 billion (nearly US$90,000) to support needy students in four central provinces at an opening ceremony for the new school year at Quang Trung High School in the central province of Quang Binh on September 5.
Addressing the event, Party Central Committee member and President of the VGCL reiterated the special attention the Party and the State paid to protecting, caring for and educating children when issuing and implementing policies related to children and mobilising the entire community to help Vietnamese children receive better care, protection, education and development.
He also called on organisations, agencies and donors to continue to join hands with the VGCL to help Vietnamese children, especially disadvantaged children affected by the recent environmental incident in the four central provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue.
On this occasion, the VGCL also presented four gifts worth VND400 million (nearly US$18,000) each to trade union of the educational sector in the four central provinces.
The mass fish deaths along beaches in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue provinces in early April, which was caused by poison in untreated wastewater from Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Company, seriously disturbed the fishing activities of locals, affecting their living conditions.
Statistics showed that Ha Tinh’s total seafood output in the first six months of this year was down 16,000 tonnes year on year, while Quang Binh suffered a drop of 23,600 tonnes, Quang Tri 16,000 tonnes and Thua Thien-Hue 13,300 tonnes.
Student puts on photo show on climate change
Quach Vinh Tuong, a former student of Tran Dai Nghia Secondary School and currently a student in the U.S., had held a photo exhibition on climate change in the Mekong Delta.
Tuong unveiled 17 photos captured in the coastal provinces of Ca Mau and Ben Tre with his unique angles to highlight severe impacts of climate change on people’s life and the environment. Tuong received support from CHANGE, an NGO on environment, where he has internship, to help improve the quality of his photos.
Born in 1998 in the south of Vietnam, Tuong has a deep sympathy for people in the Mekong Delta who are struggling with climate change, especially coastal erosion in the region.
“People are not aware of climate change although Vietnam has been badly affected by it. My mom’s hometown is in An Giang, which the Mekong River flows into Vietnam. My grandparents told me how prosperous the locality was in the past but currently erosion and drought have damaged output of aquatic products and rice. The situation will worsen if saltwater makes its way up the river and the whole Mekong Delta will become a dead land,” the 18-year-old said.
Via the exhibition, Tuong hopes to raise public awareness and call for active responses to climate change.
So far his exhibition has helped raise VND90 million (over US$4,000) for environmental protection.
Tuong found his passion for photography after a black and white photography course in the U.S. He plans to major in the environment at university and continues using photography as a means to send out a message about climate change in Vietnam.
Tuong is also an active member of a club to assist people with autism and a co-founder of Light House Vietnam to help visually impaired children study and entertain.
EU scholarship info day in October
The “EU Scholarships Info Days” will be held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on the first weekend of October, offering a chance for students to pursue higher education abroad.
The events will take place at the International Convention Centre in Hanoi on October 1 and the University of Social Sciences and Humanities of the Vietnam National University in HCM City the next day, according to the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Vietnam.
Visitors can learn about studying in one of the 28 EU nations by listening to alumni.
The Days will provide information about the EU’s Erasmus Plus scholarship programme and other scholarship funds offered by EU members such as Ireland, Poland, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands.
The EU Delegation said students can enjoy the vibrant lifestyle of modern Europe while experiencing its rich cultural heritage. European universities offer high quality education and a wide range of study and research programmes, and these programmes are generally affordable – particularly with a scholarship.
Huế pavilion gets facelift
The Huế Monuments Conservation Centre has finished the restoration of Phu Văn Lâu, or Pavilion of Edicts, located within the Huế Imperial Citadel, which has been a UNESCO Word Cultural Heritage site since 1993.
The construction, valued at almost VNĐ12 billion (US$558,139) and begun on May 13, 2015, renovated the entire ancient site, including its wooden frame, roof and some carved sections.
Phu Văn Lâu, a two-storey wooden building built in 1818 during the reign of King Gia Long, was originally a site used to store royal edicts and post examination results. It was also where feasts and entertainment for royal families took place during festivals.
Located on the main axis of the Imperial Citadel of Huế facing the Hương River, the building has become a favourite destination for visitors when exploring the ancient capital, and also the location for many community activities during national festivals or celebrations of significant historical events.
On May 15 last year, part of the building’s roof fell in and had been temporarily propped up by scaffolding, posing a threat to visitors.
Dozens of houses damaged by Thanh Hóa clean water project
Nearly 60 households in Tiến Lộc Commune in the northern province of Thanh Hóa said that their houses are being damaged by the operation of a local water supply plant.
Phạm Ngọc Ngôn, 60, a local resident, said cracks appeared in the walls of his house in late 2014. The cracks soon spread all over the house.
“My house is not only suffering from cracks in the walls and foundation, but also from subsidence,” he said.
Nguyễn Thái Hài, 68, another resident, said the cracks in her house are 2.5cm wide.
“My family could not sleep well for several years for fear our house could collapse at any time,” she told zingnews.vn.
Hoàng Thị Ca, head of Bùi 2 Village of Tiến Lộc Commune, said the cracks also exist in two- and three-storey houses. Fifty-eight houses have been affected so far.
To make matters worse, all the local wells dried up when the cracking began, she said.
Local residents blame the Tiến Lộc Water Supply Plant, saying the cracks and dry wells started when the plant began operating in September 2014.
This claim has been confirmed by Hoàng Văn Thêm, deputy chairman of Tiến Lộc Commune’s People’s Committee.
Thêm said relevant agencies in Thanh Hóa Province concluded that cracks in 59 houses in Bùi 2 Village were caused by well drilling and high capacity water pumps for the Tiến Lộc Water Supply Company.
The management board of the plant has been ordered to coordinate with Hậu Lộc District’s People’s Committee to set up a council to assess the damage so that compensation can be provided to affected households soon.
Tiến Lộc Water Supply Company opened in September 2014 with a total investment of VNĐ30.9 billion (US$1.4 million) with loans from Asia Development Bank. The water company has a capacity of 1 ,200 cu.m of water per day.
Improper urbanization makes Mekong Delta vulnerable to climate change
Climate change is taking a heavy toll, the Mekong Delta is preoccupied with urbanization and upstream flooding control.
Speaking at a seminar on experiences in climate change adaptation held in Can Tho City recently, Nguyen Hieu Trung, head of the Environment and Natural Resources Faculty under the Can Tho University, said the urbanization process and upstream flood control have caused adverse impacts on climate change adaptation solutions.
Trung said the extensive networks of flood control works along the Tien and Hau rivers have greatly affected river water flows and narrowed water storage areas while speeding up current velocity and eroding riverbeds and banks.
Urbanization has reduced the water absorption capability of soil, caused flooding and damaged infrastructure. As a result, service quality and living standards of city dwellers have been affected.
Meanwhile, cities in the Mekong Delta are still vulnerable to natural disasters and manmade works such as hydropower projects and salinity intrusion. Water quality of the Mekong River has also changed unpredictably due to a reduction in silt and pollution.
The Mekong Delta might be hit by floods in years to come. Climate change has turned unpredictable, and heavy rain and floods in the upper reaches of the Mekong River will result in water discharges of hydropower reservoirs and heavy flooding in the Mekong Delta downstream.
If investment in urban modernization and upstream flooding control continues while climate change adaptation projects are ignored, the Mekong Delta would be unable to deal with the consequences of climate change, he stressed.
Ky Quang Vinh, director of Can Tho Climate Change Coordination Office (CCCO), said local authorities see CCCO as a rival, not a partner in the climate change adaptation process.
Tran Van Giai Phong, an expert from the U.S. Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-International (ISET), said ISET has since 2008 been developing 18 climate change projects in five cities — Danang, Quy Nhon, Can Tho, Hue and Lao Cai. U.S.-based Rockefeller Foundation has provided over US$10 million for the projects.
Danang and Can Tho have been chosen as members of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Network (100RC).
18mln USD plan adopted for U Minh Ha National Park preservation work
The southernmost province of Ca Mau has adopted a plan on conserving the biological diversity, ecological environment and resources of U Minh Ha National Park at a total cost of nearly 400 billion VND (18 million USD) in 2016-2020.
Under the plan, the situation of the park will be assessed in order to designate functional zones and decide investment priorities.
Action plans and solutions will be designed for park management, fire prevention and biological diversity conservation.
According to the provincial People’s Committee, the plan will help develop eco-tourism services at the park while maintaining the valuable characteristics of the Ca Mau World Biosphere Reserve core zone.
The U Minh Ha National Park has a total area of more than 8,500 hectares, spreading across four communes of Tran Van Thoi and U Minh districts.
The plan designated nearly 2,600 hectares as the core zone subject to strict protection, while 5,190 hectares will be zoned off for restoring the biological system. The remaining 743 hectares will be used for administrative and support facilities as well as eco-tourism activities.
Despite being a part of the Ca Mau World Biosphere Reserve, insufficient fund has hindered eco-tourism and scientific research activities at the park.
U Minh Ha National Park was recognised by UNESCO as one of the three core zones of the Ca Mau World Biosphere Reserve in June 2009.
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