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Drought threatens lives of people, animals in Central Highlands

Early end of the usual rainy season has caused falling water levels in major lakes and dams throughout the Central Highlands; accordingly decreasing precipitation has caused negative effects on productivity and quality of industrial trees in thousands of hectares of land.

Drought threatens lives of people, animals in Central Highlands

Dams and lakes continued experiencing a significant drop in water level in end of February compared to the same period last year, some even are drying up; locals therefore have to make a lot of exertion to get water for watering trees.
Water level of a 8-hectare dam in Tay Ho village in Chu Prong District in the highlands province of Gia Lai which is considered as a reservoir for hundreds of hectares of tea and coffee in the area is hovering around the critical point while ten pumps are working. Resident Nguyen Van Hai in Bau Can Commune said while installing the pump water level dropped mover half of a meter compared to last year adding that before, the dam is drying up in April yet it will be in March this year.
Worse, a 5 hectare lake No.14 in Bau Can Commune which provides water for 100 hectare farm land is dried up at present, no pump can work. Farmer Tran Minh Duc in Bau Can Commune said that many farmers are waiting for rains hopelessly looking at their trees to wither away without flower and fruits.
On the path from Quang Phu Town to Ea M’Nang Commune in the Highlands province of Dak Lak, tens of pumps are working along the canals to water for withering coffee trees. Farmer Ha Van Trung in Tien Phu Commune moaned prolonged sunny weather without rain saying that he is waiting for rain for 1.3ha coffee and pepper farm land. Struggling for water is harsh here.
Head of the Irrigation Department in Dak Lak Nguyen Thanh Long said weather forecasters announced El Nino will hit the region plus, early end of rainy season, water level in dams and lakes is low.
Of 246 dams and lakes in the region designed to supply water for farm land, 53 of them are drying up.
Prolonged sunny season has threatened crop in Dak Nong Province. Deputy Chairman of People’s Committee in Nam N’Dir Commune Nguyen Van Trang said that over 60ha rice crop is at risk of drooping as water level of Krong No dipped to the critical point which pumps are unable to work.
Residents have done by fair means or foul to have water for trees including digging wells. Head of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Cu M’gar Pham Quang Muoi warned lately, people have drilled more wells when drought hit the province.
Illicit rampant well drilling have had a great deal of influence on water levels below ground; accordingly, it makes bad impact on the country’s natural resources and people’s living and farming. He petitioned local administrators to have measures against rampant drilling.
Chief of the Irrigation Department in Dak Lak Nguyen Thanh Long said that related agencies have encouraged locals to grown suitable trees in the land as well as adopt water saving technologies while Chief of Irrigation Department in Dak Nong Le Viet Thuan said local government should work with irrigation bodies to use water resource properly in addition to popularizing water saving technologies to farmers.
Besides, local administration should take heed of water level in lakes Do Ri Ho Tay, Dak Ro for daily activities.

By staff writers – Translated by HAI SON

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