Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved a water conservation programme for the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta from 2012 to 2020.

The programme, with orientations to 2050, aims to help the region deal with climate change challenges including rising sea levels.

It covers 3.96 million ha in all the 12 delta provinces of Long An, Dong Thap, Tien Giang, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, Ben Tre, An Giang, Hau Giang, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu, Ca Mau and Kien Giang as well as Can Tho City.

The programme is expected to benefit 32 million residents (estimated for 2050) in the delta, 12 million of them in coastal areas and the remaining 20 million people residing in flood-prone areas.

A total investment of 171.7 trillion VND (over 8.2 billion USD) is required to implement projects under the scheme.

This includes 85.26 trillion VND (4.1 billion USD) for irrigation works in the area between the Tien and Hau rivers, 37.78 trillion VND (1.8 billion USD) for the Ca Mau Peninsula, 33.98 trillion VND (1.6 billion USD) for the area to the left of the Tien River, 13.44 trillion VND (646 million USD) for the Long Xuyen Quadrilateral, and 1.22 trillion VND (58 million USD) for irrigation works on islands in the region.

The irrigation works will include sea and river embankments, canals, reservoirs, flood-control facilities, spillways and flood-control dams.-VNA