CUU LONG DELTA — Flooding caused by rising water levels from the upper stream of the Tien and Hau rivers, two main tributaries of the Mekong River, has arrived one month early this year, contributing to a bumper harvest.
A farmer catches fish on his flooded rice field in Ngan Dua Town, Hong Dan District, Bac Lieu Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong
Farmers are now busy catching fish, shrimp and other aquatic species brought by the flooding.
An Giang Province's An Phu District and Dong Thap Province's Hong Ngu District, which contain the upper stream of the Hau and Tien rivers respectively, are the first areas that receive floods from Cambodia.
Harvested rice fields are now submerged deep in floodwaters.
Farmer Sau Dung of An Phu's Phu Hoi Commune said the water level in fields was more than one metre high.
"Every day, I earn hundreds of thousand of dong from selling fish caught from flooded fields," he told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Farmer Bay Chung of An Phu said: "If there are floods, there is fish, there is silt, and there will be a bumper rice crop."
In Hong Ngu District, every household is busy preparing equipment for fishing, including fish nets, bamboo fish traps and small boats.
Truong Minh Hien, chairman of the Thuong Thoi Hau B Commune People's Committee in Hong Ngu, said farmers in the commune typically catch a total 50 tonnes of various fish species each year during flooding season.
Hundreds of poor households in the commune are able to earn a better living during the flooding season.
Nguyen Van Man, head of the Hong Ngu Agriculture and Rural Development Office, said the peak level of floods would reach 4-4.5 metres this year, one metre higher than that of last year, according to weather experts.
If the peak level reaches more than four metres, floods will destroy pests in fields, bring silt into the fields, but would not harm the dykes, rural transport facilities or houses, Man said.
"The water flow in the river is mild and not strong as it was in previous years, when we had big floods," said Nguyen Huu Tuan, deputy chairman of the Phu Hoi Commune People's Committee in An Phu District.
"Every day the water level increases by 4-5 cm and there are no big changes. I, however, am concerned that floods could stop suddenly," he said.
Vo Thanh, director of the An Giang Province Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, said the water level in the Hau River was 50-70 cm higher than the same period last year.
However, this level is average compared to previous years, Thanh said.
The impact of the recent storms, Hama and Nockten, which caused rains at the upper stream of the Mekong River, created the early floods downstream of the Mekong River, according to Thanh.
Nguyen Minh Giam, deputy director of the Southern Region Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, said floods would reach peak level, 4.4-5 metres high, at the end of September or early October. — VNS