|Fresh water stored in huge plastic bags is used to irrigate orchards in Bến Tre Province’s Chợ Lách District. — VNA/VNS Photo Công Trí|
BẾN TRE — Farmers and households affected by saline intrusion and drought are storing fresh water and rainwater for use in the dry season in Bến Tre Province.
The coastal province is one of the hardest hit in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta by saline intrusion.
Four years ago, the Party Committee and localities launched a movement called “Đồng Khởi stores rain water, fresh water”.
Võ Thị Mỹ, from Giồng Trôm District’s Bình Hòa Commune, uses large clay pots and three cement containers to hold rainwater. In the last dry season, saltwater intrusion and drought lasted more than six months and her stored rainwater supplied enough fresh water for household use, cooking and drinking for four months.
Her family only needed to buy fresh water for two months in the previous dry season.
“If we had not stored fresh water, my family would have been forced to spend more money to buy fresh water,” she said.
This year, Mỹ built more water containers that can now store a total of 30cu.m of water. Mỹ has also built saltwater prevention dams in her orchard ditches to preserve fresh water for irrigating trees and feeding animals.
After the severe saltwater intrusion and drought in the last dry season, more people in the province invested in various kinds of water containers to prepare for the next dry season. They have also stored fresh water in ditches to irrigate fruit trees and other crops in the dry season.
Because of the movement, all households in the province now have water containers to hold fresh water, according to the province’s Fatherland Front Committee.
Nearly 340,000 households in the province have bought or built water containers themselves, while 27,350 households were provided water containers.
The province has also encouraged households who have surplus stored fresh water to share this water with other households facing shortages.
Trần Ngọc Tâm, deputy secretary of the province’s Party Committee, said thanks to the water-storage movement, public awareness about climate change adaptation had improved.
The province is also building more irrigation projects to ensure fresh water for household use and agricultural production in the dry season. — VNS