New Zealand helps Vietnam enhance dam safety

Added On April 26, 2017

WELLINGTON, April 26 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand and Vietnam have launched an initiative to cut deadly dam-related flooding in Vietnam, New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully said Wednesday.

The New Zealand government would spend 5.4 million NZ dollars (3.7 million U.S. dollars) in five years on the project, which would focus on dam safety for the 1,000-km Ca River, McCully said after talks with Ha Cong Tuan, Vietnam's Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, in Hanoi.

"New Zealand is sharing its expertise in water engineering and natural hazard management to help Vietnam address its development challenges," McCully said in a statement from his office.

"Our support will help Vietnam effectively assess dams most in need of repair, coordinate dam owners with officials and communities, and upgrade the training curriculum for future water managers."

The project aimed to halve the death toll from flooding on the Ca River and reduce associated economic losses by 30 percent by 2021.

Vietnam had more than 7,000 dams, which were used for irrigation, electricity and drinking water.

Over the past 10 years, there has been 43 unplanned water releases or dam failures, sometimes harming downstream communities.