Baking sun, drought chap soil and people
VietNamNet Bridge – The scorching sun and prolonged heat have depleted the water resource, leaving thousands of hectares of land in Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan province uncultivated.
The people in the localities witnessed a harsh drought which lasted 12 months in 2004 and 2005, which severely affected the people’s lives and production. And now they fear that the big drought has returned.
The summer-autumn crop has come, but the cultivation still has not begun because the water reservoirs here have got depleted. More than 70 percent of the population of Ninh Thuan province, who earn their living with the farm works, have been just praying for rain.
According to the Ninh Thuan Irrigation Work Company, there are 20 water reservoirs in the province, but they cannot help, because there has been no rain over the last eight months.
Only the Song Sat reservoir in Bac Ai district still has water, which now temporarily serves the watering of 1,000 hectares of plans. Meanwhile, other reservoirs have got exhausted.
“With the current situation, we can only provide enough water for people’s daily life, and the herd of 200,000 animals,” said Hoang Van Hung, Deputy Director of the company.
A report of the Binh Thuan provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said the reservoirs in the locality only have 69 million cubic meters of water left.
Pham Huu Thu from the Binh Thuan provincial Department for Agriculture and Rural Development said the department had a working session with the Ham Thuan – Da Mi and Dai Ninh hydropower plants in Lam Dong province on the minimum water volume to be discharged to serve the cultivation. However, the volume of water from the hydropower plants is modest.
Lacking water, thousands hectares of soil have been left uncultivated. In Ninh Thuan province, 5.500 hectares of rice fields in Thuan Bac, Thuan Nam and Ninh Phuoc districts and hundreds of farm produce land in Ninh Hai district have been left untilled.
Hoang Van Hung said due to the drought, farmers can work only on 19,000 out of the 23,500 hectares thanks to the water provided by the Da Nhim – Krong Pha hydropower plant.
Hugn said that if the rain does not come in one month, and the plant cannot ensure the discharge capacity of 15 cubic meters per second, the situation would be very tense.
Binh Thuan’s farmers plan to cultivate 37,000 hectares of land, but to date, only a half of the area has been sowed and planted in the districts of Bac Binh and Ham Thuan Bac, thanks to the water from the Dai Ninh hydropower plant. Meanwhile, the farmers in other districts are still awaiting rain to come.
In the island district of Ly Son in Quang Ngai province, 100 hectares of land has been left idle because of the lack of water.
Local farmers spent tens of millions of dong to dredge water wells and install the water system that brings water from residential water to the onion fields. However, the efforts were in vain, because 2/3 of the wells have got depleted or suffered the salinity.
Local people now have to travel several kilometers to the An Vinh commune to get water from a well there, or buy water cans for drinking.