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Dozens of irrigation systems operating ineffectively in north-central Vietnam

Dozens of irrigation systems operating ineffectively in north-central Vietnam

Friday, July 28, 2017, 18:03 GMT+7

Multiple irrigation systems in the mountainous areas of north-central Thanh Hoa Province that cost multimillion dollars to build are either left disused or operating ineffectively.

The finding was made following a thorough inspection of 70 such small- and medium-sized constructions in 43 mountainous communes of Thanh Hoa by the provincial People’s Council.

Between 2010 and 2016, 95 small and medium irrigation works were built in the mountainous areas, including one reservoir, 23 weirs, 31 pumping stations and 40 canals.

These buildings cost a total of VND365 billion (US$16.08 million) in development capital.

A further VND651 billion ($28.68 million) was spent on repairs and upgrades of 303 other irrigation systems.

However, over 40 percent of these buildings – whose construction was overseen by the local administrations – had been faulty by design, leading to difficulty and ineffectiveness in actual operation, the inspection found.

Design flaws include dams being higher than the level of canals, while the canals are at a higher elevation than field surfaces, obstructing the flow of water.

One VND3 billion ($132,200) canal system in Thanh Hoa’s Quan Son District was buried by a landslide before it could be put into use, according to inspection results.

Another project that cost over VND10 billion ($440,500) to develop in the province’s Muong Lat District was divided into three separate projects with different design plans, leading to inconsistency in construction.

Irrigation systems are crucial to agricultural activities in the mountainous provinces of north-central Vietnam, where water needs to be elevated to upland areas for cropping.

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