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Climate change, natural disasters – main challenges of Mekong Delta

Can Tho, July 14 (VNA) – Major challenges facing the Mekong Delta remain climate change and natural disasters, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong told a conference in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on July 14. 

Dong said the region now suffers scarcity of fresh water, saline intrusion, flooding and drought. Its spontaneous urban development and industrialisation and limited transport infrastructure are also one of the shortcomings. 

He suggested taking multi-sectoral approaches to dealing with the issue based on long-term vision. 

Former Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dang Hung Vo said it is inevitable to make planning in combination with climate change response. 

On water resources management, former Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dao Xuan Hoc said it takes joint efforts of countries, ministries and agencies, focusing on dealing with issues regarding the construction of hydro power plants on the Mekong mainstream, groundwater and sand exploitation. 

He urged building a system of sluices along Tien and Hau Rivers in order to regulate water sources and minimise early flooding. 

Deputy Director of the National Institute of Agricultural Planning and Projection Nguyen Trong Uyen stressed the need to devise measures to use and manage agricultural land as well as study new varieties that adapt to climate change. 

The event was co-hosted by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the World Bank (WB) in Vietnam.\