The central coastal province of Khanh Hoa has asked for financial support from the Government and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to cope with a severe drought.

Le Duc Vinh, deputy chairman of the provincial People's Committee, said during a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai that the requested 150 billion VND (7.1 million USD) would be used to build a 3.5 million cu.m reservoir to serve local residents' farm cultivation and production.

A lack of rain decreased the water flow in the province by 90 percent compared with previous years, Vinh said in his report to the Governmental official.

Vinh said water reserve reservoirs could only supply 25 to 50 percent of what the province needed. Of the total 19,700 ha of winter-spring crops, some 2,500 ha had been seriously affected. Cam Ranh, Cam Lam and Ninh Hoa localities were facing the biggest droughts.

Specifically, the 22-million-cubic-metre Cam Ranh Reservoir, which was supposed to supply water for 2,300 ha of crops, now only held 5 percent of its total capacity. So it could only supply enough for 550 ha, he said.

In response to the province's difficulties, Deputy PM Hai urged local authorities to ensure that residents got enough water and disseminate more information on conserving it. The province needed a plan for reserving water, as the heat and drought were expected to continue.

He also asked the province to calculate the province's water supply and demand, and call for investments from different sources to build more reservoirs or dams.

The Deputy PM visited Cam Lam district, where 800 ha of crops, including 500 ha of rice, were suffering from severe drought. He urged the locality to change its crop structure, especially in severely affected areas.

He also asked the district's authorities to provide farmers with seedlings to help them avoid poverty caused by the drought.-VNA