Illustrative Image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) will give financial aid to 13 Mekong Delta and Central Highlands provinces to provide drought-affected residents with water for daily use. 

The beneficiary Mekong Delta provinces are Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, Ben Tre, Kien Giang, Long An, Tien Giang, Soc Trang and Ca Mau. In the Central Highlands, the targeted localities are Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Lam Dong. 

They will receive 500 million VND (over 22,400 USD) apiece. 

MoNRE Minister Tran Hong Ha recently conducted an inspection of the drought in the regions. 

He said economies can be impacted by water scarcity, and water security is even more important to Vietnam since most of its water sources hail from other countries. 

He urged relevant agencies to expeditiously form proposals, based on which the Government can negotiate with other nations to build water use mechanisms that are in line with international rules and practices and do not considerably affect other countries which share the same water sources. 

The lingering drought has wreaked havoc on the Mekong Delta and Central Highlands. 

In the Mekong Delta alone, about 225,800 households are facing water shortages. More than 208,000 hectares of rice, over 9,400 hectares of fruit trees and about 2,000 hectares of shrimp farming areas have been affected by the drought and saltwater intrusion, according to data released at a conference in Soc Trang on April 28. 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said since the end of 2015, saltwater has entered 50-150 km deep into the mainland in areas around the Vam Co, Tien and Hau rivers, much higher than the average figure recorded in previous years. 

Vietnam has sent urgent appeals to international communities, asking for 48.5 million USD to deal with the impact of increasingly severe drought and saltwater intrusion.-VNA