The central province of Ninh Thuan’s People’s Committee on June 9 announced prolonged drought occurring in the locality since the outset of this year, which has created drastic losses in local agriculture and livelihoods.

According to the provincial announcement, over 500 hectares of winter-spring crops were underproductive and cultivating activities were hampered across 16,000 hectares. Meanwhile, more than 900 heads of goats, sheep and cows died as a result of food shortages.

The province has evacuated 17,600 livestock to more abundant-food areas as part of efforts to prevent damages caused by the lingering drought.

Due to the El Nino weather pattern impacts, rainfall in the locality stands at about 300 millimetres, 40-50 percent lower than the average. Water volume in 20 reservoirs is standing at 7.9 percent of their designed capacity.

Most local areas have dried up, with over 8,600 households in 12 communes facing water shortages.

The province has delivered 1,417 tonnes of rice to affected families and continues to allot rice for nearly 19,000 local residents.

Earlier, about 15 million litres of clean water were sent to the drought-affected districts of Thuan Nam and Bac Ai as part of the Vietnam Red Cross (VRC)’s urgent relief to local residents.

The most heavily-affected areas are located in agricultural districts such as Bac Ai, Ninh Phuoc, Ninh Son, Thuan Nam, and Ninh Hai. Thuan Nam and Bac Ai have suffered from two consecutive years of drought.-VNA