13:35 (GMT +7) - Monday 23/10/2017

Vietnam Today

JICA provides $216.5mn loan for water management project

Released at: 13:46, 19/07/2017

JICA provides $216.5mn loan for water management project

Photo: JICA

Loan to go to project providing saltwater intrusion control facilities in the Mekong Delta's Ben Tre province,

by Quynh Nguyen

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has signed a loan agreement with the Vietnamese Government over Japanese ODA loans of up to $216.5 million for the Ben Tre Water Management Project.  

The project will provide saltwater intrusion control facilities in the Mekong Delta province, where intrusion is damaging crops.

It will improve agricultural productivity by supplying water with low salinity, contributing to climate change adaptation and improvements to local livelihoods through rural and regional development.

The Mekong Delta is Vietnam’s key food production area, producing more than half of the country’s food. Ben Tre province is prominent in rice production, coconuts, and citrus fruit.

Agriculture drives the provincial economy, accounting for 44 per cent of its GDP; well in excess of the country’s average of 18 per cent.

However, due to reverse flows of saltwater into Mekong River tributaries caused by climate change and other factors over recent years, crops with little salt resistance have suffered severely, with yields and fruit size falling. Damage was estimated at approximately VND1.5 trillion ($66 million) in 2015. 

The Mekong Delta is also dealing with increasing incidences of land subsidence. It may reach global warning levels of more than 4 cm per year over the next ten years if groundwater extraction is not ended, according to Mr. Tom Kompier, First Secretary, Water & Climate, at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Vietnam.

Studies show that the rate of subsidence has now reached a few centimeters per year, which is a lot higher than the global sea-level rise of a few millimeters a year and alarming news for the Mekong Delta, which is only 1-2 meters above sea level.

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