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Dak Lak struggles with early onset of dry season

Update: March, 28/2014 - 08:16

Residents in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak are exploiting every resource to water their crops. More than 2,000ha of crops in the province has been affected by prolonged drought. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngoc Ha

HCM CITY (VNS) — Thousands of households in the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) province of Dak Lak are suffering from a severe shortage of water due to prolonged drought.

In Krong Bong District, people have to travel up to 10km to fetch or buy water.

Nguyen Thi Ba in Krong Bong's Cu Kty Commune said there has been no rain over the past three months and wells, ponds and springs have dried up.

Ba, who now has to go a few kilometres to get water from a spring, said her well was dredged two times, but it still had no water.

Tran Van Cu, deputy chairman of the Chu Kty People's Committee, said drought in the commune has been severe.

People can solve the problem of daily use water for personal use, but to save their crops they need the support of authorities, he said.

In the district's other communes, Hoa Thanh, Ea Trul and Chu Pui, people are also facing severe water shortages. It is estimated that the district has nearly 1,000 households suffering water shortages.

Ho Duc Hoa, deputy head of the Krong Bong District Agriculture and Rural Development Bureau, said the district has spent VND80 million (US$3,800) on pipes to transport water to residential areas affected by severe water shortages.

The district's communes have used their budget to give farmers part of the fuel budget towards pumping irrigation water, Hoa said.

Drought has affected about 530ha of crops in the district, destroying 143ha of rice, he said.

If the prolonged heat lasts for another month, the amount of crop affected by drought will increase to 943ha, according to the bureau.

In the province's Buon Ma Thuot City, Buon Don and Cu M'gar districts, the number of households facing shortages of water has increased day by day, according to the province's Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control and Natural Disaster Mitigation.

Meanwhile, the province's Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said this prolonged drought is estimated to last for a long time.

Droughts normally occur in the Tay Nguyen region in April and May, but this year, the dry season has come earlier. Since February, the water levels in rivers and springs have been very low.

About 2,008ha of the winter-spring crop, including wet rice, maize and coffee, in Dak Lak, has been affected by drought as of the middle of this month. Of this figure, 650ha-375ha of wet rice and 275ha of maize - have been destroyed, according to the province's Agriculture and Rural Development Department.

Dak Lak has the largest crop cultivation area in the Tay Nguyen region. — VNS



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