A resident digs a big hole for storing water in southern Bến Tre Province. Holes for storing water on drought-affected land in the Central Highlands have become dangerous traps for residents and animals. — Photo dantri.com.vn
HÀ NỘI – Holes for storing water on drought-affected land in the Central Highlands have become dangerous traps for residents and animals.
Not many holes have warning signs or fences around them, creating a risk for those on the road - especially children, said Hoàng Nguyên Chiến, chairman of Ya Chim Commune’s People’s Committee in Kon Tum Province.
To help trees and animals survive the recent prolonged drought, local people dig deep holes, wells and ponds in their fields, on the roadside or in dried-up lake beds to draw water for crops and livestock.
“People and animals can easily fall into these deep holes, tens of metres wide, and can’t escape,” Chiến said. “It will be even more of a trap when the holes are full of water in the rainy season.”
The communal People’s Committee has asked households who dug the holes to post warnings or install fences around them.
One lake that dried up in the months of drought posed a problem at a rubber latex processing plant in Ya Chim Commune, local resident Hoàng Y Shi said.
“When the lake bed was dried up in the drought, many people hired machines to dig tens of holes to get more water,” Shi said.
Chiến said local people were digging 3m-deep holes, tens of metres wide, and weren’t preparing for the dangers they could cause.
“The worst part is that those who made the holes don’t intend to fill them in, even though the rainy season’s coming,” Chiến said.
Nguyễn Trung Tuấn built a hole near the rubber latex processing plant’s diversion dam.
"We have to seek water sources during drought to save our crops," he said. “It is not dangerous. The hole will be filled in in the rainy season.”
The Ya Chim Commune People’s Committee reported that about 200 ponds, wells and holes had been dug in 11 villages in the past few months.
A recent drowning incident at a lake dug out by farmers killed three students in Glar Commune of Gia Lai Province in the Central Highlands. Local authorities said this horrific incident also served as a warning about how dangerous the holes were.
Locals needed to work hard to tap water sources amid the ongoing drought, but digging these holes without considering safety was endangering the lives of the residents, said the chairman Chiến. -- VNS