08 May 20 Vietnamnet Global Source The south-central coastal province of Binh Thuan declared a Level 2 emergency on May 7 regarding drought and water shortages.The provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) was ordered to take charge of matters and cooperate with relevant agencies and district-level people's committees to continue identifying measures to prevent and control drought, water shortages, and salinity.
Together with relevant agencies and localities in the province, DARD will identify drought-affected areas and roll out response measures in accordance with the law on natural disaster prevention and control.
Besides accelerating urgent projects that have already been approved, DARD is to closely monitor and ensure water levels at the Dai Ninh and Ham Thuan reservoirs.
The provincial People's Committee Chairman requested that the provincial irrigation works exploitation company accelerate the maintenance of irrigation works while presenting plans to build urgent facilities to store and supply water for daily use and production, dredge canals and reservoirs, and build temporary pumping stations.
The provincial Department of Planning and Investment in cooperation with provincial financial and agricultural departments is to advise the People's Committee on the budget for urgent works and projects in drought prevention.
Localities in the province are requested to conduct campaigns to encourage residents to use water efficiently and to build domestic water containers, while conducting efforts to ensure clean water supply for local people, particularly the poor, near-poor, social welfare recipients, and ethnic minority households.
Prolonged heat waves and an absence of rain have taken a toll on Binh Thuan since early this year. Most localities in the province, especially Bac Binh, Ham Thuan Nam, and Nam Thuan Bac districts, are facing severe drought and lack water for daily use and agriculture. More than 13,000 hectares of dragon fruit in Bac Binh and Ham Thuan Bac districts have been damaged.
Water supply to local households is also running out. Over 26,000 households with 98,000 people in 39 communes and wards are short of water. Many must buy clean water at high prices of 80,000 to 120,000 VND (3 to 5 USD) per cubic metre.
The province has also stopped farming on over 15,000 hectares of farm land so that residents can receive water for daily use and for their livestock./.VNA