|The Deputy PM made the suggestion at an online conference hosted by the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control in Ha Noi on Saturday. — File Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — Ministries, sectors and localities nationwide should use communication campaigns to raise public awareness about El Nino and the importance of water saving to cope with the weather pattern, said Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai.
The Deputy PM made the suggestion at an online conference hosted by the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control in Ha Noi on Saturday.
Representatives of all 63 cities and provinces across Viet Nam participated in the conference in order to discuss ways to deal with drought and salt intrusion caused by El Nino following warnings that such extreme climate phenomenon would continue to affect Viet Nam throughout next year.
Director of the National Hydro-Meteorological Forecast Centre Hoang Duc Cuong said that the latest El Nino period between 2014 and 2016 was likely to become one the longest El Ninos in Viet Nam in the last six decades.
Based on statistics collected in El Nino affected years, the average temperature in 2016 is forecast to be higher than normal, possibly with new heat records in the summer, Cuong warned.
Water shortage, caused by late-coming and early-ending rain season, would continue to be serious in particular areas including Central, Southern and Central Highlands regions.
"The rainfall amount might be about 30 to 60 per cent less during the rain season and will trigger severe wide-ranging drought in the coming dry season," said Cuong.
The severe drought this year already affected 122,000 ha of agricultural land, forcing another 40,000 ha to suspend production and distressed dozens of thousands people due to water shortage, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Hoang Van Thang.
Deputy PM Hoang Trung Hai asked the agricultural sector to focus on connecting water resources from hydroelectricity with irrigation works, and take effective measures to conserve water. He stressed the need to adjust the seasonal seed structure to mitigate the extreme weather phenomenon's effects.
Localities were required to build plans to respond to drought and saltwater encroachment.
Hai spoke highly of solutions used to fight drought and salt intrusion and called for more attention to other issues, such as forest fire prevention, environmental protection and hygiene and epidemiological issues.
The latest El Nino period, affecting Viet Nam since late 2014, increases average temperatures and reduces rainfall. It is a leading cause of drought, water shortages and salt intrusion in the Central, Central Highlands and Southern regions. — VNS