|Villagers in Phan Lam Commune in Binh Thuan's Bac Binh District pump water from some remaining small pools in a river to water their crops. — Photo thuvienbinhthuan.com.vn
BINH THUAN (VNS) — Drought-hit central coastal province Binh Thuan yesterday decided to set aside VND15 billion (US$750,000) to support the provision of water to State agencies and the general public.
The money will go to part of the general public who are buying water at a price of VND60,000–100,000 ($2-5) per cubic metre and for digging bore wells, installing water pipes, and building water supply facilities.
The lower tiers of the provincial government are expanding the range of people entitled to State assistance (for buying water) to include low-wage earners and people who are under the State's social security cover.
Ham Tan and Tuy Phong Districts have been the hardest hit, where 40,000 people are said to be facing a serious water shortage.
The province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that all 16 reservoirs in the province have recorded water levels at a mere 10-30 per cent of their holding capacity.
As of yesterday, eight water plants in the province had stopped their operations due to insufficient water supply to run them.
The eight plants are located in Tuy Phong, Ham Thuan Bac, Ham Thuan Nam, Ham Tan, and Tanh Linh districts in the province.
The drought is believed to have begun last year, when rainfall was low and the wet season ended earlier than usual.
The drought has stunted the growth of some 1,000ha of crops in the province. — VNS