Saltwater intrusion in Kien Giang (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Construction has proposed to the Government on the extension of a programme to build floodproof residential clusters and houses in areas highly vulnerable to flood in the Mekong Delta region to another period from 2016 to 2020.

As planned, 132 projects will be added to the programme, with the construction of 86 additional residential clusters and dykes around 44 flood-affected residential areas, aiming to prevent serious flood, landslide, saltwater intrusion as well as ensure safe shelters for 44,800 locals.

Half of the capital for the ground upgrading in these areas will be sourced by the central budget, while the rest will be funded from the Vietnam Bank of Investment and Development.

Meanwhile, major infrastructure works for the clusters will be invested fifty-fifty by both central and local budgets. The central budget will also cover 80 percent of investment for the building of banks around the residential areas, while the rest will be paid by local budget.

Under the programme, a half of loans for locals to build houses will come from the State budget through the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies. The bank will be in charge of mobilising the rest.

Total estimated central budget for the programme in the 2016-2020 period is 1.79 trillion VND (80.26 million USD), including over 1.39 trillion VND (62.32 million USD) in direct support and 394 billion VND (17.66 million USD) in soft loan. In 2016, the State budget poured into the programme is about 358 billion VND (16.05 million USD).

In the first phase from 2001 to 2008, 804 residential clusters with banks were built, while 140,000 poor households in flood-affected areas were moved to a safer and stable places, reaching 94.7 percent of the target.

In the second phase from 2008-2015, 178 out of 179 clusters with banks were constructed, or 99.4 percent of the plan, together with safe places for about 52,220 poor households.

However, many regional localities have reported of areas affected by dangerous landslides threatening the safety and livelihood of locals, showing the need to prolong the programme.-VNA