A field of dying crop caused by saline intrusion. (Photo: VNA)

Ben Tre (VNA) – Authorities in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre are mobilising resources to address drought and saline intrusion, which have severely affected the local economy and living standards.

The provincial People’s Committee estimated that salt water has entered around 6,878 hectares of newly seeded rice fields, causing different levels of damage. Some localities are seriously suffering, with between 70 and 100 percent of local fields contaminated by salt.

The intrusion, which started earlier this year, has also polluted clean water sources causing difficulties for residents.

Ben Tre city has implemented several measures to ensure water supplies for households. It has also sent water trucks to coastal areas affected by saline intrusion and drought.

Due to the early saline intrusion and lower than expected annual flooding, which usually brings much-needed water to rice fields, farmers in the Mekong Delta are facing losses.

More than 600,000 hectares of winter-spring rice, or about 40 percent of the delta's winter-spring rice crop, will be affected by the intrusion that is expected to creep 60-70 km inland, according to the Plant Cultivation Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.-VNA