|A rice field affected by drought and saltwater intrusion in Hòn Đất District in Mekong Delta of Kiên Giang. — VNA/VNS Photo Lê Huy Hải
HÀ NỘI — The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has released US$185,000 from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund to support the Mekong Delta’s response to drought and saltwater intrusion.
According to Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative in Việt Nam, amid severe drought and saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta and in response to the appeal by the Partnership for Disaster Risk Reduction, the UNDP has coordinated with Việt Nam Disaster Management Authority to send working groups to assess the situation and provide information as a basis for other members in the Partnership to give support.
The UNDP will provide 300 water tanks for affected households in Bến Tre Province and assist livelihoods of 176 households in Cà Mau Province, she said.
It has also carried out an assessment of drought impact on local livelihoods and access to freshwater, supported policy dialogue on disaster prevention and control as well as the application of mobile technology to keep updated on damage caused by natural disasters.
Speaking at the signing ceremony held in Hà Nội on Tuesday, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Hoàng Hiệp, said: “This is the worst drought and saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta’s history.”
This year, saltwater intrusion came one and a half months earlier than usual. In some areas, saltwater reached as much as 90km inland, he said.
The UNDP’s support was very important as residents in Mekong Delta are facing difficulties in water resources for both living and production, Hiệp said, adding that the ministry has committed to Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc that saltwater would be put under control in Bến Tre Province by 2023 and basically ensuring sufficient fresh water for daily life of people in the Mekong Delta by 2025. — VNS