|Flood inundates rice fields in Kiên Giang Province. – VNA/VNS Photo Lê Huy Hải|
HCM CITY – Authorities in the Mekong Delta are setting up safe sites for children in flooded areas and ensuring the safety of students going to school.
The annual flooding in the delta, caused by the rising level of the Mekong River, is threatening the safety of children in flooded areas.
In An Giang Province’s An Phú District, which has suffered from severe flooding as compared to most other districts, more than 1,000 primary school students are taken to school and back to their homes by family members and volunteers.
They live in deeply flooded communes like Phú Hội, Nhơn Hội, Vĩnh Hội Đông and Vĩnh Hậu.
The district has set up five sites that provide day care and free meals for more than 200 children aged between three and five in deeply flooded communes of Phú Hội, Vĩnh Hội Đông and Khánh An.
The district’s People’s Committee plans to set up a total of 35 sites to look after more than 1,000 children a day when their parents go to work.
The district has helped children go to school during floods for more than 10 years.
In Đồng Tháp Province, local authorities have been giving children swimming lessons to prevent drowning. For instance, more than 90 swimming classes for around 2,300 children in the province’s Hồng Ngự District.
Hồng Ngự has seven sites that look after children during the flood season.
Mai An Nhịn, deputy chairman of the Kiên Giang Province’s People’s Committee, has asked localities to carry out measures to prevent drowning and ensure safety of children going to school.
Kiên Giang, which has set up special sites that look after children, has also asked parents to keep children at home when flood levels are high.
Flooding has caused damage to thousands of hectares of rice, vegetables and fruit in the delta’s low-lying areas.
In Kiên Giang Province, floods have caused damage to 1,100ha of summer-autumn rice planted outside embankments, according to the province’s Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, Search and Rescue.
About 1,130 households in Kiên Giang Province living along flood-prone canals and areas have moved to safe areas.
The flood level is estimated to rise to four metres at Châu Đốc Station and 4.5 metres at Tân Châu Station by the middle of this month, according to Nguyễn Huỳnh Trung, head of the office of the natural disaster steering committee.
In Kiên Giang’s Long Xuyên Quadrangle, floods are rising and may inundate 20,000ha of summer - autumn rice in Giang Thành, Kiên Lương and Hòn Đất districts and 11,500ha of autumn-winter rice in Tân Hiệp District.
In Đồng Tháp Province, flood water has caused damage to more than 50ha of rice in Thanh Bình, Lấp Vò and Hồng Ngự districts and Cao Lãnh City, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Floods have also inundated dozens of hectares of fruit in the province, with farmers being forced to pump water out of orchards.
Nguyễn Thanh Hùng, deputy chairman of the Đồng Tháp Province’s People’s Committee, said that fruit orchard owners would be asked to consolidate embankments to avoid damage to their fruit trees.
Farmers should update information about flood waters regularly, he said.
In Đồng Tháp, flooding is predicted to affect more than 13,000ha of autumn-winter rice, mostly in Tam Nông and Tháp Mười districts and Hồng Ngự Town. – VNS