Hanoi (VNA) – More financial assistance will be provided for 11 provinces and one State-owned company to ease drought and saltwater intrusion consequences.

Under the Prime Minister’s decision, 231.5 billion VND (nearly 10.4 million USD), sourced from the State budget reserves for 2016, will be allocated to help the benefited provinces address drought and saline encroachment impacts in the winter-spring crop since the end of last year.

The aid recipients are are Son La and Lai Chau in the north; Thua Thien-Hue and Phu Yen in the central region; Kon Tum and Lam Dong in the Central Highlands; and Binh Phuoc, Long An, Soc Trang, Kien Giang and Ca Mau in the south.

Meanwhile, Dau Tieng – Phuoc Hoa Water Resources Exploitation Co. Ltd, based in the southern province of Tay Ninh under the ownership of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, will receive 2.9 billion VND (over 130,000 USD).

It manages Dau Tieng Reservoir in the upper Sai Gon River, which is a major source of water supply for water treatment companies in Ho Chi Minh City. Over the last few months, water from Dau Tieng Reservoir has been released several times to reduce the salinity in the Sai Gon River.

Since the outset of 2016, the prolonging drought and saltwater intrusion have damaged about 250,000ha of rice, 18,960 ha of other crops, 30,500ha of fruit trees and more than 149,700ha of industrial plants. Over 288,000 households also lacked running water.

As of May 20, an estimated 1,350 livestock and poultry were killed while around 6,800ha of aquaculture were damaged by water scarcity.

In mid-May, the total loss nationwide was estimated at an upward of 9.7 trillion VND (990 million USD), over 8.9 trillion VND (404.5 million USD) of which caused by drought and saline intrusion. The remaining was the result of the severe cold spell, whirlwind, lightning and hailstorms.

The total output of the 2015 – 2016 winter-spring crop is estimated at 19.9 million tonnes, down 844,000 tonnes from a year earlier, according to the agriculture ministry’s cultivation department.-VNA


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