Ministry calls for urgent measures to cope with drought

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on February 26 chaired an online meeting with localities to discuss measures to cope with drought conditions that threaten tens of thousands of hectares of rice, sugarcane, rubber and coffee plantations in the central and central highland regions.

A woman trying to extract water from the dry bed of the Ba River in Kong Chro District in the central highland province of Gia Lai (Photo: SGGP)

According to the Department of Irrigation, severe drought is now a reality in the central and central highland provinces of Binh Dinh, Quang Ngai, Dak Lak and Gia Lai.

The National Hydro Meteorological Forecasting Center said that common temperatures in the central region in the last three months of last year and February this year are higher than normal in several years. In some places, the difference is upto 3 degrees celsius.

Provinces from Ha Tinh to Ninh Thuan will face dry and harsh drought conditions from May until September.

Le Thanh Hai, director of the weather center, said that the last rainy season ended early in the central region, leading to a severe drought season this year. Rainfall is expected to be very less in August and September; with the result that water level in reservoirs and rivers will fall drastically.

Dang Duy Hien, from the Department of Irrigation, said that besides the central and central highland regions, the northern and southern regions are also likely to be affected by the drought.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has proposed to the Government to seek urgent measures to cope with the drought, so as to ensure agricultural production.

The Ministry has also ordered provinces in the central and central highland regions to dredge reservoirs to accumulate fresh water, dam up embankments to prevent salt intrusion, drill wells and install more pumping stations to provide water for irrigation.

Provincial people’s committees should work with hydropower plants to regulate water supply through hydroelectricity for farm lands.

Localities badly affected by drought can report to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and request assistance. At present, ten localities have asked for help from the Government.

By Tran Phuc – Translated by Hai Mien

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