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Khanh Hoa thirsty for funds to overcome ongoing drought

Update: March, 16/2015 - 08:34
Cam Ranh Reservoir in Khanh Hoa Province is now only capable of supplying enough water for 550ha of crops compared to the 2,300ha it is supposed to cover. — VNA/VNS Photo Tien Minh

KHANH HOA (VNS) — The central coastal province of Khanh Hoa has asked for financial support from the Government and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to cope with a severe drought.

Le Duc Vinh, deputy chairman of the provincial People's Committee, said during a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai that the requested VND150 billion (US$7.1 million) would be used to build a 3.5 million cu.m reservoir to serve local residents' farm cultivation and production.

A lack of rain decreased the water flow in the province by 90 per cent compared with previous years, Vinh said in his report to the Governmental official.

Vinh said water reserve reservoirs could only supply 25 to 50 per cent of what the province needed. Of the total 19,700 ha of winter-spring crops, some 2,500 ha had been seriously affected. Cam Ranh, Cam Lam and Ninh Hoa localities were facing the biggest droughts.

Specifically, the 22-million-cubic-metre Cam Ranh Reservoir, which was supposed to supply water for 2,300 ha of crops, now only held 5 per cent of its total capacity. So it could only supply enough for 550 ha, he said.

In response to the province's difficulties, Hai urged local authorities to ensure that residents got enough water and disseminate more information on conserving it. The province needed a plan for reserving water, as the heat and drought were expected to continue.

He also asked the province to calculate the province's water supply and demand, and call for investments from different sources to build more reservoirs or dams.

Hai visited Cam Lam District, where 800 ha of crops, including 500 ha of rice, were suffering from severe drought. He urged the locality to change its crop structure, especially in severely affected areas.

He also asked the district's authorities to provide farmers with seedlings to help them avoid poverty caused by the drought.

Millions-dollar runway

Also yesterday, Hai attended a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of Cam Ranh International Airport's second runway.

The airport aims to ease overloading and take a step toward its long-term development goals with the expansion, valued at more than VND1.9 trillion ($90.5 million). It includes a runway with 3,048m-long, 45m-wide runway and 3,094sq.m of grounds, among other facilities.

Hai underscored the necessity of the project, saying it would help meet the development and defence demands of Khanh Hoa and the southern central region.

He asked local authorities, the investor and the contractors to work closely to ensure the project's progress and quality of the project.

Built by the US for military purposes during wartime, Cam Ranh Airport has been used by Viet Nam for civilian travel since 2004. In 2009 the Government decided to upgrade it into an international airport.

Cam Ranh became one of the four leading airports in 2011, in terms of number of passengers. In 2014 alone, the airport served more than 2 million people. — VNS

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