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Gov’t outlines anti-drought action

Update: April, 16/2016 - 15:12
A resevoir is exhausted in Ea H’leo, Centrak Highland Province of Đắk Lắk. Agriculture minister said that all forces should be mobilised to cope with severe drought and saline intrusion in order to ensure food and fresh water for daily usage. — Photo khampha.vn

HÀ NỘI Viet Nam News -—  All forces should be mobilised to cope with severe drought and saline intrusion in order to ensure food and fresh water for daily usage, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Đức Phát said at a meeting yesterday.

Topics addressed by the Central Steering Committee for Natural Calamities Preparedness and Control included measures to confront drought and saline intrusion in the Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands), southern central and Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta regions.

Phát asked localities to closely watch weather and saline intrusion developments and water resources to adequately promote effective measures that would minimise production losses and stabilise incomes.

The committee pledged to mobilise all forces to cope with the situation and avoid hunger and possible epidemic to drought-affected people.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment was assigned to closely supervise and issue reports on drought and saline intrusion for specific areas and localities. This helps local authorities set up effective plans for drought and saline intrusion control.

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce asked the management agencies of hydropower reservoirs to supply fresh water to drought-prone areas as a priority task.

The local authorities should co-operate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to adjust production timetables to reduce losses caused by drought and saline intrusion.

This year’s drought was the most severe one in 100 years, and saline intrusion was worsened by the El Nino phenomenon in the Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands), southern central and Cửu Long Delta regions.

So far, the droughts and saline intrusion have caused fresh water shortages in 390,000 households and damaged nearly 240,000ha of rice and more than 4,000ha of aquaculture production.

The total loss was estimated to be VNĐ5,200 billion (US$236 million).

According to the weather forecast agency, drought and saline intrusion are expected to expand to other regions in upcoming months.

Thus, preparedness measures should focus on supplying fresh water to people and livestock.

Colonel Trương Đức Nghĩa from the National Comittee for Search and Rescue said the committee has asked the Government to provide funds for purchasing water tankers and ships to transport fresh water to affected areas.

“The army would play a major role in supplying fresh water to save people and production,” the colonel said. -- VNS

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