PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc has agreed to give VND350bn (USD15m) to five provinces in the Mekong Delta region to cope with the ongoing drought and saline intrusion.
Long An, Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Kien Giang and Ca Mau provinces will receive VND70bn each. The money will be used to pump water, build water pipes and buy equipment to transfer water. The government will monitor the process to ensure that the money will be appropriately used.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Hoang Hiep said saline intrusion had badly affected the daily lives and production of the Mekong Delta since last December. It is predicted to worsen from March 7 to 15.
Saline water will intrude 100 to 110 km into the mainland through the Vam Co Dong and Vam Co Tay estuaries in Long An Province.
"During the dry season, saline intrusion will worsen along with high tides until the end of April," Hiep said.
39,000ha of rice last year and over 30% of the spring-winter crop have been damaged because of drought and saline intrusion. 95,000 households are in difficulties and suffering from water shortage, 24,000 households are in Soc Trang Province.
The central region is at high risk of drought from March to May, the remaining months of this dry season, said Deputy Director of the National Centre for Hydrometeorological Forecasting Vu Duc Long said on March 9.
Provinces in the Mekong Delta are taking prompt actions to help local residents adapt to drought and saltwater intrusion during the dry season.