Ha Noi – A drought has affected nearly 50,000ha of crops nationwide, says Dang Duy Hien of the General Department of Irrigation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Low water levels of rivers have caused a water shortage for irrigation in the central provinces. In the central-northern provinces, the average river water level is sufficient at 2-2.5m. However the irrigation channels across Bac Ninh, Hung Yen and Hai Duong provinces are flowing slow because of construction work on the Bac Hung Hai irrigation and drainage system. Saline intrusions to the water and soil of the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces of Soc Trang, Bac Lieu and Ca Mau have forced farmers to stop pumping water.
To prevent people from having to buy water at exorbitant prices from private water providers, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has urged local authorities to operate their water pumping stations at full capacity or to provide water-tanks for people in remote, downstream areas during the dry season. For areas of high salinity, local authorities need to fix salt prevention sluice gates to prevent saline saturation of the fields, the ministry said.– VNS