At this time last year, farmers in the Mekong Delta were utterly in distress because of drought. This year, authorities have adopted different solutions to reserve fresh water in canals and rivers facilitating the waterway transport.
Rivers and canals in the southernmost province of Ca Mau are now full of water in the arid weather ; therefore, people can still transport commodities by boats. Farmer Lam Viet Khoi in Tran Van Thoi District shared that this year, the weather is better than the prior year; farmers are eager as they harvested bumper crop. He added canals in his orchard are full of water for irrigation while water for drinking and eating is stored in large potter’s jars.
Since the Mekong Delta suffered the worst drought for these recent years, it became necessary to build the freshwater reservoir. In the middle of March this year, residents in Kien Giang Province’s coastal areas started to use water in the fresh water dam with a capacity of 125 cubic meters per hour built by the center for rural safe water and environment sanitation. Ms. Nguyen Thi Hoa in An Minh District eagerly said locals get access to fresh water for daily activities and production despite hot spell.
Authorities in Tien Giang Province has built dam to prevent salinity intrusion and fresh water reservoir in Nguyen Tan Thanh canal in Chau Thanh District to ensure the supply of water for 128,250 hectares of paddy fields for water plants such as Dong Tam and Binh Duc in Tien Giang Province and Nhi Thanh in Long An Province to meet daily activities for roughly 1.1 million residents in Tien Giang and Long An provinces.
Nguyen Hanh Phuc, Director of the center for rural safe water and environment sanitation in Ca Mau Province, said that 20 water supply stations with each designed capacity of 16,760 cubic meters a day plus another 200 water supply stations managed by commune people’s committees are being operated to provide water for residents continuously during the arid season. Last but not least, Ca Mau authorities also installed water taps in public places so that people enjoy fresh water easily. Almost all owners of orchard and ornamental plants in Cho Lach District in Ben Tre Province had purchased large water reservoir for preparation to cope with the drought.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development forecast approximately 79,700 residents in the Mekong Delta suffered fresh water shortage in the dry season in 2021; subsequently, authorities in the region have adopted various solutions to ensure the supply of water.
The Department for Crop Production said that farmers in the region have not grown trees in 27,000 hectares in areas where locals hardly access to water supply. Moreover, farmers had sowed earlier to avoid salinity intrusion; thankfully, they harvested a bumper crop.
Additionally, farmers switched to grow vegetables and fruits on 18,808 hectares and 4,133 hectares respectively while they feed aquatic animals in 4,700 hectares of land to cut water use.
Head of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Cho Lach District in Ben Tre Bui Thanh Liem said last year’s lack of freshwater and drought damaged 8,500 hectares of fruit orchards. This year, people have taken proactive measures against drought earlier including dredging canals, purchase of water reservoirs and switching to planting vegetables instead rice.