Ninh Thuan steps up measures to deal with drought

Tuesday, 2018-04-10 11:45:14
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Officials from the MARD and the Ninh Thuan People's Committee discuss solutions to tackle water shortages in the production area around Ong Kinh Lake. (Photo: NDO)
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NDO – The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) sent a working mission to the South Central Coast’s Ninh Thuan province on April 9 to survey a local drought that has caused damage to local production and daily activities in recent days.

According to reports from Ninh Thuan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, up to now, the water volume stored in 21 local reservoirs is at over 127 million m³/194.49 million m³, reaching 65% of the design capacity. At present, several small reservoirs have run out of water. If there is no rain in the coming days, it will create trouble for production in areas around the small reservoirs.

Ninh Thuan has also implemented a number of urgent solutions to minimise the damage caused by drought. In areas where reservoirs have run out of water, production shall be stopped, with water source priority given to daily-lives and raising livestock. In areas where fruit trees are grown, proper groundwater extraction and the use of irrigation techniques are required. In areas where there is a shortage of water for daily activities, local authorities will offer water tanks to supply daily water for people.

Ong Kinh Lake in Ninh Hai district has been running low for months. Local farmers here are thirsty for water to irrigate hundreds of ha of crops.

The MARD mission surveyed the lakes of Ong Kinh, Phuoc Nhon and Phuoc Trung, as well as Tan My dam. The head of the mission, MARD Deputy Minister Hoang Van Thang, proposed that Ninh Thuan further promotes propagation on water saving during irrigation for local vineyards, apples, onions and garlic.

He also asked Ninh Thuan to actively balance water sources for both irrigation and daily use in the direction of efficiency and saving costs. The districts of Ninh Hai and Bac Ai, which are facing the risk of sheep death due to a lack of food and water, should urgently implement measures to make utilise local water sources for their herds, while cleaning their cages to minimise the number of dead cattle due to the drought.

The same day, the delegation also inspected the construction progress at Tan My dam, one of the biggest irrigation works in Ninh Thuan.

Tan My dam is considered as a relief for Ninh Thuan province during the drought season.

At the site, Deputy Minister Thang suggested that the contractor accelerates the construction of a water supply system connected to the Cho Mo Lake’s irrigation system in Ninh Son district at the end of April, to ensure water supply for 1,200 ha of production land, while constructing a 22 km long water pipeline to Thanh Son area in Xuan Hai commune by the end of 2018.

Ninh Thuan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development proposed that the MARD offers initial funding worth VND30 billion to build additional ponds for water storage.

According to statistics, the drought season in Ninh Thuan has just started but has already caused serious damage. If there is no proactive solution, it will be harder for the locality to deal with the drought which could last until the end of September.