Irrigation works cause crop losses

Sluggish progress on two irrigation projects in southern Kien Giang Province have caused major crop losses in Binh Son Commune of Hon Dat District.

More than 3,000ha of rice have lost due to having no irrigation sluices to release water during floods.

Hon Dat faced huge risks of saline intrusion from its nearly 50km of coastline and two projects in Binh Son and delays in the construction of two sluices, Canal 10 and Tam Nguyen sluices, still haven’t been competed due to capital shortage.

They are among the district’s total 28 irrigation sluices that belong to the west sea flood prevention system under by the province’s agriculture and rural development department.

Dam Van Tuyen, a technical officer of the Dong Thap VINACONEX 27, said the VND5.2billion (US$248,000) Canal 10 being built by Thanh Long Company was left only 80 per cent completed after two years of construction.

Le Van Dung, a resident living near Canal 10, said: “We do not know why the construction could not be completed after nearly three years.

“We have suffered huge losses here due to having no water for shrimp raising or agricultural production,” Dung said.

Hundreds of hectares of rice and farm produce were lost during recent years due to flood and heavy rain.

The situation was similar with the Tam Nguyen sluice around which people could not cultivate rice or farm produce because of flooded fields. Many crops have been lost.

Nguyen Thi Hue, a resident in Tam Nguyen sluice area, said: “We thought the sluice construction would make us happy but it’s made our lives more miserable.”

Binh Son communal People’s Committee chairman Le Van Tien said the unfinished sluices had caused huge losses to production despite support for the land clearance from the commune authority.

Around 3,000ha of rice was lost due to having no irrigation sluices to release water during floods.

Tien added that local authorities had asked investors and contractors to speed up construction but nothing had changed.

The department’s construction management deputy head Nguyen Thanh Van said one reason for the delay was that the investor believed it had poured enough capital into the project and the contractor saying it was not enough.

The other reason was that one contractor had won bids for two or three sluices and they had built each sluice step by step. Van said completion time in the contract for both sluices was December 31 this year, at which time the contractor could be challenged under the terms of the contract.

Leave a Reply