Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has asked affected districts to preserve water in reservoirs and dredge rivers, canals and wells to mitigate the impact of drought and saline intrusion in the southern and central areas of the country.
The districts were also asked to restructure their crop cultivation and irrigate water in a more efficient manner. In the south-central region and the central highlands, rainfall levels have dropped 50-90 per cent this year compared to the first three months of last year, according to the ministry.
Meanwhile, water levels in reservoirs have reached only 60-70 per cent of their designed capacity. Saline intrusion has also affected agricultural production and the lives of local people downstream of the Vu Gia-Thu Bon River in the central province of Quang Nam and coastal areas in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta.
About 27,000 ha of the 2013-14 winter-spring crops in the southeast and central regions have been affected by drought.
Press Release, April 7, 2014