The biggest fresh lake in Hoài Nhơn District – Mỹ Bình Lake – had its water level reached the dead level. This means over 5,000 households living in Tam Quan Bắc Area in Hoài Nhơn District is facing risk of water shortage. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyên Linh
BÌNH ĐỊNH — The south central province of Bình Định is experiencing its most serious drought in the last 15 years, with 4,000 households and 3,400ha of crops lacking water.
According to the province’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department, more than 3,400ha of crops face water shortages and about 200ha of summer-autumn rice has died of the drought.
Quy Nhơn City and the districts of Phù Mỹ, Hoài Nhơn, Hoài Ân, Tây Sơn and Tuy Phước have been hit the hardest by drought as the affected cultivation areas ranged from 163ha to nearly 500ha.
Võ Duy Tín, vice head of Hoài Ân District’s Agriculture Division, said that almost all reservoirs in the district were dried up.
“The district has spent nearly VNĐ3 billion (US$129,000) to take the little available water from small ponds and streams to cultivation areas,” he said, adding that all 66 pumping stations in the district operated all day to provide water for agriculture.
In Hoài Ân District, drought has lasted for more than a month, killing 200ha of rice, posing a risk of water shortages for 860ha of crops and leaving 160ha of cultivation land unused.
Lê Trung Cang, deputy director of Bình Định Irrigation Works Management Ltd Company, said rivers and major dams in the north of Bình Định Province were dry and unable to provide water for farmers.
The company had used 13 mobile pumping machines to take water from ponds and streams for crops in Hoài Nhơn District.
The province’s agricultural department also reported that about 4,000 households in the province did not have enough water for daily use, most of them in Phù Mỹ, Tuy Phước and Tây Sơn districts.
Lê Văn Toản, vice chairman of Mỹ Chánh Commune People’s Committee in Phù Mỹ District, said that some 2,100 households in the commune had suffered water shortages for the last few months.
Seventy-year-old La Văn Hiệp in Mỹ Châu Commune, Phù Mỹ District said this was the first time he saw the Trà Ổ Lagoon dry up.
The biggest fresh lake in Hoài Nhơn District – Mỹ Bình Lake – also had its water reached dead levels. This means more than 5,000 households living in Tam Quan Bắc Area in Hoài Nhơn District are at risk of water shortage.
Vice Chairman of Bình Định Province's People’s Committee Trần Châu told Vietnam News Agency that the agriculture department was reviewing the damage caused by the drought.
He said police and the army would carry clean water to people living in affected areas so they wouldn't have to buy water of unclear origin and risk catching diseases.
The central coastal province of Phú Yên has also been suffering hot weather and severe drought which might cause harvest losses, reported vov.vn.
The provincial People’s Committee has pushed all relevant agencies to help minimise the consequences of the drought.
So far, more than 4,000ha of rice has been badly affected by the prolonged drought, of which 1,000ha is at risk of being destroyed.
The drought is forecast to potentially worse by the end of August.
The province has asked the central Government to provide VNĐ9.8 billion ($420,000) as aid to fight drought and saline water intrusion. — VNS