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ADB funds Vietnam dam resettlement project

Vietnam floods kill 19, capital Hanoi under water
Floods have killed at least 19 people in central Vietnam, emergency services said Friday, as heavy rains also lashed the capital Hanoi and left many streets under one metre (three feet) of water. Central Ha Tinh province -- where muddy waters inundated buildings and hundreds of hectares of rice and other crops -- reported seven deaths, said the National Flood and Storm Prevention Committee. "A 48-year-old man was swept away after feeding his buffalo and a 19-year-old man was killed on the way to husk rice," said the committee's online report, adding that three of the victims were children. Nghe An province reported eight deaths, four of them children aged between eight and 12 years old. The children were swept away in strong currents on their way home from school, the provincial disaster office said in a report. More deaths were reported from Quang Ngai and Quang Nam provinces. A week of heavy rains has swollen rivers and triggered flash floods and landslides in the region, where downpours continued Friday. In northern Vietnam, the capital Hanoi was also hit by heavy rains that turned streets into rivers and caused traffic chaos, leaving many people stranded as flood waters soaked their motorcycle engines. Vietnam gets lashed by typhoons, tropical storms and heavy rains every year. According to government figures, floods and landslides in Vietnam last year left 435 people dead and missing.
by Staff Writers
Hanoi (AFP) Oct 31, 2008
The Asian Development Bank Friday signed a two-million-dollar grant to help Vietnam resettle ethnic minority groups due to be displaced by a dam project the bank is funding.

The 267-million-dollar Song Bung 4 Hydropower Project will be built in the Vu Gia-Thu Bon river basin of central Quang Nam province, a remote and poor area home mainly to the indigenous Co Tu minority.

The 156-megawatt dam project is the country's first to be backed by a multilateral development agency, the Manila-based ADB has said.

The new Japanese-funded grant will finance a programme to improve and sustain the livelihoods of the community and people in downstream areas affected by the hydropower project, the bank said.

Affected groups will be trained in growing wet rice, keeping and caring for livestock and shifting to aquaculture and agroforestry, while local officials will also learn about sustainable livelihood development, it said.

"Socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic growth is a key pillar in ADB's country strategy for Vietnam," said the bank's country chief Ayumi Konishi at the signing ceremony at Nam Giang in Quang Nam.

"The project presents a new way to conduct resettlement by supporting livelihood improvement of affected people on a long-time basis.

"It will demonstrate how resettlement can be considered as a development opportunity particularly for the poor and vulnerable people."

The ADB has lent 196 million dollars for the dam, while the Vietnam Development Bank has provided a 22-million-dollar loan and state-run Vietnam Electricity has contributed 49 million dollars.

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Urban Form A Key To Melbourne Water Savings
Canberra, Australia (SPX) Oct 28, 2008
Restricting Melbourne's urban sprawl could have a big impact on reducing the city's water use over the long term, says a CSIRO report launched to coincide with National Water Week. The report aims to inform and promote discussion about the links between urban water and energy policy to identify the best overall options to secure Melbourne's future water and energy needs.

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