|The cracked fields appear more often in many districts of Đắk Lăk in particular and the Central Highlands in general.VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đạt|Viet Nam News
Like other provinces in the Central Highlands, Đắk Lắk is currently in the middle of the peak dry season.
According to statistics from Đắk Lăk Province’s Agriculture and Rural Development, drought has affected 300ha of crops in the province.
Nguyễn Minh Châu, who owns about a hectare of pepper trees in Ea H’leo’s District Ea H’leo Commune said prolonged drought and a lack of irrigation have caused many trees to die.
Although his family has spent nearly VNĐ100 million (US$4,310) to hire people and machines to fetch more water, they had little success.
Nguyễn Hồng Sơn, another resident, was in the same situation.
He said about half of his pepper trees have died due to water shortage, adding his family has poured some VNĐ140 million into finding new sources of water and conserve what they do have.
Phan Tiến Dũng, deputy chairman of Ea H’leo District, said the water level in lakes and reservoirs was extremely low, and the chance of water shortages was high.
Severe shortages of water have been reported in districts including Krông Pắk, Ea Kar, Krông Bông, Krông Buk and Ea Hleo. The water level in the province’s reservoirs is only half of storage capacity. It is forecast the drought season will last for a few more weeks so the risk of severe drought in Ea Súp, Ea Kar, Krông Bông and Buôn Đôn districts is high. Annualy dry season in the area lasts from last November until April the following year. VNS