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New Zealand and Viet Nam have launched a $5.4 million initiative to reduce dam related flooding in Viet Nam.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully joined Mr Ha Cong Tuan, Viet Nam’s Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, in Ha Noi today to launch the New Zealand-funded five-year project, which will focus on dam safety for the 1000km-long Ca River in Viet Nam.

“New Zealand is sharing its expertise in water engineering and natural hazard management to help Viet Nam address its development challenges,” Mr McCully says.

“Our support will help Viet Nam effectively assess dams most in need of repair, coordinate dam owners with officials and communities, and upgrade the training curriculum for future water managers.”

The project aims to halve the death toll from flooding on the Ca River and reduce associated economic losses by 30% by 2021.

Viet Nam has more than 7000 dams, which are used for irrigation, electricity and drinking water. In the past 10 years there have been 43 unplanned water releases or dam failures, sometimes harming downstream communities.

The Viet Nam – New Zealand Dam Safety Project is funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme and will be implemented by Viet Nam’s Thuy Loi University, New Zealand’s Damwatch Engineering and GNS Science.

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