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VietNamNews

Reservoir floods spark torrent of controversy

Update: November, 16/2013 - 09:42
Despite the crop losses, authorities are actually happy with the floods, saying they have brought much needed alluvium soil to rice paddies.— Photo Quoc Viet

THUA THIEN HUE (VNS)— Despite parched farmland in many central areas being desperate for water, vegetable farms in lowland areas of central Thua Thien Hue Province have been ruined by sudden floods surging from hydro-power electricity plants.

Authorities in Quang Dien District said unexpected floods from local power reservoirs had destroyed 300ha of land used to grow lettuces, green onions and herbs, causing huge losses for local farmers.

The district's diminished vegetable supply is expected to influence the local market, causing price increases.

The district is assisting farmers by providing seeds for new crops in a bid to secure livelihoods and stabilise the market.

Despite the crop losses, authorities are actually happy with the floods, saying they have brought much needed alluvium soil to rice paddies.

The district had not been flooded for almost two years and soil had shown signs of degradation, with rice production waning, according to Nguyen Dinh Duc, deputy director of the district People's Committee.

Local agricultural officials expected the alluvium layer would benefit rice and vegetable production as there would be less need for the use of fertilisers.

The floods, which lasted several days, have also reduced the plagues of rats in local paddies.

At the same time, rice farmers in upper areas of the province continue to bemoan the damage caused by rats.

Hoang Ba Tuy, a managing member of Thuong An agricultural co-operative said the rats had been wreaking havoc for four years because there had been few floods in the area.

According to the Viet Nam River Network, a Vietnamese NGO based in Hue, the constructions of hydro-power reservoirs brought a stop to natural flooding.

"The reservoirs of Huong Dien and Binh Dien power plants should share resources with locals by regularly releasing water," said chief network co-ordinator Lam Thi Thu Suu.

The province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development estimated a 10 tonne drop in rice production this year because of the rats. — VNS

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