A dyke in U Minh district (Source: VNA)
Ca Mau (VNA) – Nearly 18 billion VND (800,000 USD) from the State budget has helped the southernmost province of Ca Mau with recovery from the severe drought and saline intrusion.

The provincial authorities directed localities to dredge 9 fresh water canals in districts of Tran Van Thoi, U Minh, Thoi Binh and Ca Mau city, and dig new canals in Ca Mau city.

The provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is building a water pumping station worth nearly 1.2 billion VND in U Minh district, while repairing and building three irrigational sluices in the communes of Khanh Binh Tay, Khanh Hung and Khanh Binh in Tran Van Thoi district.

Additional state budget spending will be earmarked for affected areas to overcome drought and saltwater intrusion that occurred during the winter-spring crop between 2015 and 2016.

The water shortage has affected 10,000 hectares of rice and 7,000 hectares of local crops and fruit trees, of which up to 3,000 hectares of crops were completely destroyed. Around 35,000 hectares out of 45,000 hectares of cajuput forest have also dried up.

As of April 13, 2016, more than 390,000 households in the Central Highlands, Mekong Delta, and south central region faced water shortages.

Drought and saltwater intrusion damaged over 232,000 ha of rice, 61,992 ha of fruit and 4,052 ha of aquaculture. The total economic loss was estimated at over 5.1 trillion VND (229.5 million USD).-VNA