Ninh Thuận to save hundreds of hectares of drought-affected crops

Due to prolonged drought, reservoirs do not have enough water to irrigate hundreds of hectares of crops in Ninh Thuận Province.

Many sugarcane areas in Quảng Sơn Commune, Ninh Sơn District are at risk of drying out due to lack of water. — VNA/VNS Photo Công Thử

NINH THUẬN — Hundreds of hectares of crops in Ninh Thuận Province are at risk of drying out, as reservoirs do not have enough water to irrigate the area following a prolonged drought.

The crops are sugarcane, wheat, corn and some fruit trees, such as durian and grapes, in Ninh Hải and Ninh Sơn districts.

In Vĩnh Hải Commune, Ninh Hải District, about 190ha of grape vines lack irrigation.

Ông Kinh Lake has run dry, and local people have to dig ponds and drill wells to store water. But some of the wells are contaminated with salinity, so even the plants that are watered cannot grow and gradually wither.

Similarly, in Lâm Sơn Commune, Ninh Sơn District, more than 200ha of fruit trees are withering due to water shortages.

All of the crops in this area use natural water from the Gia Chiêu stream and other small waterways. But due to the prolonged hot weather, the streams have dried up.

In Quảng Sơn Commune, more than 300ha of sugarcane are drying out. Local people are very anxious and worried, because the heat there is still intense.

More importantly, many types of crops and fruit trees are now in the growth, flowering and fruit-bearing stages. Water shortages will directly affect the trees’ survival rate, productivity and product quality.

Leaders of the Lâm Sơn Commune People's Committee said that the committee would request financial support from authorities at all levels for the people in affected areas.

The support would help local farmers dig ponds and install water pipes to temporarily irrigate crops while awaiting the rainy season.

For less affected areas, the committee suggested the farmers store water and irrigate crops in moderation.

Deputy Chairman of the Ninh Sơn District People's Committee Nguyễn Đức Hòa said that to ease difficulties for the people, the district has proposed the provincial People's Committee consider investing in irrigation pipelines.

The district suggested locating a water pump downstream of the Sông Pha Hydroelectric Plant to bring water to the Gia Chiêu stream and then using the water to irrigate fruit trees. 

Trịnh Minh Hoàng, Deputy Chairman of the Ninh Thuận Provincial People's Committee, said that, given the prolonged drought and its negative impacts on people's productivity and daily lives, provincial authorities have issued a plan to respond to the problem. 

The committee assigned urgent tasks to each department and locality as part of the plan to conserve water for daily use, livestock and high-value perennial crops.

Over the past few days, the committee has examined local people's production and living situations and directed solutions for the areas most affected by the drought. 

For grape growing areas, especially in Vĩnh Hải Commune, province leaders asked the locality to support and work closely with agricultural agencies and local farmers, because grapes are a specialty in the province.

The province asked the Management Board of Agricultural and Rural Development, Investment and Construction Projects to supply water from the Tân Mỹ irrigation station in Bác Ái District to Ông Kinh Lake to ease the province's severe drought zone.

Officials in Ninh Thuận Province continuously monitor the latest information and developments on the drought to issue timely and effective guidance. 

The province is encouraging people to actively respond to the drought by storing fresh water and using water in moderation.

According to the Ninh Thuận Province Irrigation Works Exploitation Co. Ltd., the total amount of water in the company's 23 reservoirs is only 138 to 417 million cubic metres.

Of these, two reservoirs have already dried up and six lakes have water levels lower than the dead pool level, at which water cannot flow downstream.

Experts forecast that the drought will continue to greatly impact people's lives and production in the days to come. — VNS

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