More than 7,000 hectares of crops in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai have been damaged by prolonged drought.

The most affected areas are Chu Prong, Ia Grai and Chu Pah districts. Total economic losses are estimated at approximately 85 billion VND (3.91 million USD), mainly from withered coffee and rice areas.

The situation is forecast to worsen as the drought continues, especially in the province’s southeastern part.

According to the Central Highlands Hydro-Meteorological Station, in the region in general and Gia Lai in particular, this year’s rainy season will start later, at the beginning or middle of May, with the rainfall estimated to be lower than the previous years.

The provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has requested the assignment of technical workers to work with local authorities and people to utilise water resources and irrigation works effectively so as to minimise water losses.

The province has urged relevant agencies to take measures to counteract the drought, focusing on digging ponds, dredging wells and using pumps to make full use of water resources.-VNA