|Drought is affecting many canals in Trần Hợi Commune, Trần Văn Thời District, of Cà Mau Province. About 225,800 households in the Mekong Delta are facing water shortages. More than 208,000ha of rice, over 9,400ha of fruit trees and about 2,000ha of shrimp farming areas have been affected by the drought and saltwater intrusion.—VNA/VNS Photo An Hiếu|Viet Nam News
SÓC TRĂNG — Ensuring enough water is available for people’s daily lives should be the top priority amid the severe ongoing drought, said Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng at a conference in the Mekong Delta province of Sóc Trăng yesterday.
The event, held to seek measures to cope with the drought and saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta, saw the participation of representatives from 11 regional cities and provinces affected, including Long An, Tiền Giang, Bến Tre, Trà Vinh, Sóc Trăng, Bạc Liêu, Cà Mau, Kiên Giang, Hậu Giang, Vĩnh Long and Cần Thơ.
Deputy PM Dũng asked localities to continue keeping a close watch on the salinisation and mobilise the entire political system, especially the public, in their efforts.
They were also requested to swiftly disburse their budgets to support production, instruct local farmers on how to restructure crop production and step up their co-ordination to combat disasters.
In the long-run, it is essential for agencies to adjust their climate change scenarios, enhance their weather forecast capacity, build plans to adapt to climate change, devise policies assisting localities hit hardest by natural disasters and strengthen their international collaboration in this field, he said.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Đức Phát said salinity is expected to be a lingering issue, adding that a closer eye must be kept on its development to offer suitable technical solutions to the local farming sector.
The conference was informed that about 225,800 households in the Mekong Delta are facing water shortages. More than 208,000ha of rice, over 9,400ha of fruit trees and about 2,000ha of shrimp farming areas have been affected by the drought and saltwater intrusion.
Statistics released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development show that since the end of 2015, saltwater has encroached about 50-150 km into the mainland in areas around the Vàm Cỏ, Tiền and Hậu rivers, much higher than the average figure recorded in previous years.
Although water released from hydroelectric dams arrived in the region in early April, only half of the regional farming land has been cultivated, as the amount of water that arrived is still not enough.--VNS