Residents in Bến Tre Province’s saltwater intrusion-affected areas receive free water containers and water bottles. — VNA/VNS Photo Huỳnh Phúc Hậu
BẾN TRE — Residents in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Bến Tre are providing households with free fresh water as saltwater intrusion is expected to equal or exceed the record level that occurred during the 2015 – 16 dry season.
Bến Tre is one of the delta provinces that have been hardest hit by saltwater intrusion in the 2019 – 20 dry season.
Nguyễn Thị Hưỡn in Bến Tre City’s Phú Hưng Commune has provided free clean water from her house’s well for hundreds of households. Every day, water from the well is pumped into two 1,000cu.m tanks installed on a 3-metre high metal base for people who need free water.
Hườn has provided free clean water to other residents during the dry season for many years.
Nguyễn Văn Trí, who lives in Châu Thành District’s An Phước Commune, said that water resources from rivers and tap water had been affected by saltwater and many neighbours were visiting Hưỡn’s house for clean water.
The price of fresh water has become too high for many households, he said.
Most rivers, canals and water plants in the province have been affected by water with salinity of 2 grammes per litre, too high for eating or drinking.
Many households in saltwater-affected areas are paying VNĐ80,000 – 200,000 (US$3.4 – 8.6) a cubic metre for fresh water. The cost is a burden, especially for poor households.
In Giồng Trôm District’s Bình Hòa Commune, Trần Quốc Duy has established two free fresh water supply sites to provide fresh water. The two sites, located at Bình Tiên T-junction and near Giồng Trôm Market, have two 2cu.m water tanks each that are refilled when empty.
The clean water supplied at the two sites is taken from his house’s well where he hires water tank trucks to transport the water to the two sites.
Nguyễn Phúc Linh, deputy chairman of the province’s Fatherland Front Committee, said that the committee has called on philanthropists to donate water containers and provide clean water to poor households.
The province aims to have every household supplied with fresh water.
The province has received 1,653 500-litre water containers, 6,300 20-litre water bottles, and 2,000 5-litre water bottles from philanthepists since early this year, according to the province’s Fatherland Front Committee.
Bridge 125 of Naval Zone 2 in co-operation with the HCM City - based Gia Định Water Supply Joint Stock Company has used ships to transport about 3,000cu.m of clean water to supply people in the province.
About 57,000 households living along coastal areas, islets and other remote areas in the province could face a clean water shortage if saltwater intrusion from the sea through river mouths continues for a long time, according to local authorities. VNS