Lock prevents Can Tho's recurring floods, offering relief.

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    Nov 2, 2023

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A lock currently prevents floodwaters from entering Can Tho City, despite tides rising to 2.15m. Work on the lock is still in progress.


On Tuesday afternoon, the partially completed Cai Khe Lock was initiated for a trial run, marking its 70% completion stage.

During the test, the tides on the Can Tho River in Vietnam were recorded at a height of 2.15 m, surpassing the alert level by 15 cm. It is important to note that the Can Tho River is a branch of the Hau River, which is a significant tributary of the Mekong River.

By utilizing the lock, a range of streets in the urban center are now protected against the threat of flooding.

The fact that certain streets are no longer prone to flooding is viewed as an anomaly by the locals in Can Tho. This peculiar situation arises from the consistent occurrence of flooding, typically half a meter high on average, in the inner areas of the city during high tides over the past several years.

According to Bui Thai Thuong, the director of the Project Management Board responsible for official development assistance (ODA) in Can Tho City, it can be confidently stated that the lock has effectively ensured the safety of traditionally flood-prone areas during high tides.

The lock project commenced in September of the previous year and is scheduled to be finished towards the end of this current year.

The lock consists of four valves and has been funded by an ODA fund amounting to VND9.2 trillion.

The total weight of the three primary valves is 35 tons, while each valve measures 20 meters in width and 6 meters in height. On the other hand, the remaining valve weighs five tons and has a height of 5 meters.

In 2016, the government granted approval for a project aimed at the development and enhancement of Can Tho City's adaptability. As part of this initiative, a lock was assigned to facilitate the progress of the project.

The primary objective of this project is to effectively manage and mitigate floods in the downtown area of Can Tho, covering a vast expanse of 2,700 hectares. By implementing strategic flood control measures, the project aims to safeguard and shield over 420,000 residents from the destructive impacts of flooding.

The project is divided into three phases and is scheduled to be finished by mid-2024.

In addition to that, the project encompasses sewage systems and pumping stations as well.

The Cai Khe Lock on the Can Tho River, as captured in this photo by VnExpress/An Binh, showcases a significant waterway infrastructure.

With an expansive area of 1,140 square kilometers and a thriving populace of 1.2 million inhabitants, Can Tho stands as a significant city.

The downtown area, along with a majority of the city, has frequently experienced flooding due to heavy rainfall and high tides.

According to the Research Institute for Climate Change at Can Tho University, the city of Can Tho is experiencing a subsidence rate of two to three centimeters per year. This phenomenon can be attributed to various factors, including excessive groundwater extraction and the rapid pace of urban development in the area.

In Ho Chi Minh City, a project aimed at safeguarding 6.5 million people from urban flooding has been ongoing since 2016 with an estimated cost of VND10 trillion.

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