The central province of Ninh Thuan distributed 2,000 tonnes of rice supported by the Government to farmers in local drought-hit areas on June 11.

The most heavily-affected districts are Thuan Nam, Bac Ai, Thuan Bac, Ninh Hai, Ninh Phuoc and Ninh Son.

Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Dang Thi Phan said the Government has supported the province with some 3,500 tonnes of rice.

Local authorities vowed to strictly supervise the distribution of rice to the target areas, she said.

At present, 31 of the 47 communes are being affected by the drought, which is forecast to last until September. Over 18,900 families are believed to be waiting for rice support.

According to the provincial People’s Committee, over 500 hectares of winter-spring crops were underproductive and cultivating activities were hampered across 16,000 hectares due to water shortages.

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 below average. Water volume in 20 reservoirs is standing at 7.9 percent of their designed capacity.-VNA