Drought, saltwater intrusion batter southern Vietnamese province

by 20 July 2015 Last updated at 18:59 PM

VTV.vn - Drought and salt water have swept through several districts in the southern Vietnamese province of Kien Giang, damaging around 2,000 hectares of rice farming areas and seriously affecting farmers’ lives.

Nguyen Van Tam, director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Kien Giang, said that this year’s saltwater intrusion is due to the lack of fresh water upstream in the Mekong River.

Around 2,000 hectares of rice farming areas in Giang Thanh, Hon Dat and Chau Thanh Districts, as well as the provincial capital of Rach Gia, have been seriously affected by saltwater intrusion.

The drought, which started in early July, is also an unprecedented phenomenon that has not happened in the region for the last 15 years.

Both the drought and saltwater intrusion have affected locals’ lives, while farms, poultry and livestock have also been damaged.

Quynh Thi Kim Tuyen in Hon Dat District said that 700 ducks on her farm drank salt water and died, resulting in a loss of around VND40 million (US$1,837) in revenue.

Salinity has also appeared in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang since July 7 and spread to other provincial areas including Long My, Phung Hiep Districts and Vi Thanh City. Salinity rates there were measured at 1.1‰ to more than 6‰.

Cam Quang Vinh, chairman of the Phung Hiep District People’s Committee, said that residents are struggling with the situation, as saltwater intrusion is unprecedented this year.

This is the first time in the last 20 years that the area has been directly affected by salt water during the rainy season, Vinh said.

According to Le Phuoc Dai, head of Hau Giang Province’s Department of Irrigation, annual saltwater intrusion often ends in the middle of May, while this year, the phenomenon continues to hit the region even though it is nearly the end of July.


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