SPACEBEL Contributes to the Monitoring of the Mekong River (Vietnam)
For several decades, the Mekong delta (Vietnam) has been the scene of flooding the occurrence of which is increasingly frequent and severe. On each occasion, the floods cause considerable loss in terms of human lives, infrastructure and natural resources.
In order to limit future damage, the Vietnamese government has decided to tackle the problem and appealed to national and international specialists. The basic idea is innovative: combining geographical information systems (GIS) with radar satellite data, a database will be set up of water levels in the Mekong and the impact of any rises.
It is within the frame of the bilateral co-operation between Belgium and Vietnam that SPACEBEL, through its division DA VINCI, has declared its interest to participate in the project. Strengthened by its experience in the field of environment and territory management, SPACEBEL submitted a tender that was sanctioned in October 2003 by the Belgian Minister of Economy, Energy, External Trade and Scientific Policy, Mrs Fientje MOERMAN, during an economic mission in Vietnam presided by H.R.H. Prince Philippe. The Company has recently received the official go ahead to start the work.
The project will take 24 months and will be undertaken in collaboration with a Vietnamese partner. It aims at creating an integrated evaluation system by combining existing flood measurement data and remote sensing techniques along with ancillary flooding information. Most importantly, the system will provide those in charge locally with geographical support during the floods, allowing them to quickly have an idea of the extent of the disaster and to rapidly make the necessary decisions. A secondary objective, as a preventative measure, is to be able to provide warnings in case of imminent or possible flooding.
With this new project SPACEBEL is seizing another opportunity to promote awareness in Asia and to apply its know-how to the improvement of the environment.