Residents in the central province of Binh Thuan are facing a severe drought that is halting agricultural production, according to the local Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Ham Tan, Ham Thuan Nam and Tuy Phong districts are the most heavily-affected by the drought.

Locals are also experiencing a serious shortage of fresh water with bottoming water levels in almost all water reservoirs in the locality.

Farmers in Tuy Phong district have halted rice farming on more than 400 hectares due to water shortages and over 10,000 households in Ham Tan district are facing prolonged water shortages for personal use.

The current drought is attributed to low rainfall in 2014. The current water level of reservoirs is about 21 million cubic metres, equivalent to only 10 percent of the total capacity.

As a result, Binh Thuan cultivated only 25,000 of the 33,000 hectares of paddy field in the 2014-2015 Winter-Spring crop.

Binh Thuan’s agricultural sector is working with local authorities to mobilise resources and roll out long-term measures to cope with the dire situation.-VNA