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Belgian ambassador visits Ninh Thuan

Released at: 14:52, 24/06/2019

Belgian ambassador visits Ninh Thuan

Photo: Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in Hanoi

Ambassador in south-central province for beginning of repairs at Cau Ngoi drainage canal.

by Ngoc Lan

Ambassador of Belgium in Vietnam, H.E. Paul Jansen, is paying an official visit to south-central Ninh Thuan province on June 23 and 24 to attend the inauguration of repair work at the Cau Ngoi drainage canal, funded by the Belgian and Vietnamese Governments.

The occasion will also mark the completion of the “Water management and urban development in response to climate change” project (2014-2019).

Commencing in 2013, the highly successful project was funded by $10.2 million in grants from the Belgian Government and $1.8 million from the Vietnamese Government.

Activities included studies to assess the impact of climate change on river flooding, urban drainage, and drought throughout the Dinh River basin. The results from studies were then integrated into a climate change action plan and water resources plans that underpin capacity development activities with departmental officers at the provincial, city, and district levels.

Community development and communications activities raised awareness about climate change and greener approaches to living in many localities throughout the province. In addition to the flood drainage works at Cau Ngoi, funds were also invested in improving domestic water supply in coastal areas.

Valued at VND180 billion ($7.7 million), construction of the Cau Ngoi drainage canal is the centerpiece of the project’s investment activities. Of the total, VND145 billion ($6.2 million) is from Belgian grants and VND35 billion ($1.5 million) from counterpart funding.

The works renovated approximately 7.1 km of previously degraded canal to ensure that drainage capacity is enhanced. The canal also enhances the capacity to deliver irrigation supply to adjacent farms and to dramatically reduce maintenance costs from dredging. In addition to the direct beneficiaries in areas immediately adjacent to the canal, the works improve general conditions for life and economic activities, benefiting some 46,000 people in Van Hai ward and Khanh Hai town.

Ambassador Jansen said he looks forward to the positive changes brought about by Belgian-funded projects and welcomed the close and effective cooperation of authorities at all levels in Ninh Thuan province during the process of project implementation.

Over the last four decades, Belgian development cooperation has supported Vietnam in a number of areas, including infrastructure-focused projects, poverty reduction, and social development programs, dating back to the 1990s.

With Vietnam’s “Doi Moi” policy and its opening up to world, Belgium set its priority on supporting the country in education, public health, water, and sanitation. This aims to tackle possible social vulnerabilities appearing in the process of economic reform. The current Indicative Cooperation Program of 58 million euros ($66 million) focuses on the areas of governance, water management, and urban planning in the context of climate change and green growth.

Belgian development cooperation has been ongoing in Ninh Thuan province since 2005, with projects supporting the fields of irrigation, sanitation, and environmental protection. The current cooperation program in Ninh Thuan focuses on water management and urban development in response to climate change as well as the promotion of green growth initiatives. Enabel (the Belgian Development Agency) is responsible for implementing all projects in bilateral cooperation at the government level.

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