Illustrative image (Source:VNA)
Ninh Thuan (VNA) – The central province of Ninh Thuan has taken a series of drastic measures to cope with a prolonged drought.

According to the provincial People’s Committee, the impacts of climate change have resulted in desertification and a decline in average annual rainfall that have had adverse effect on agricultural production, economic development and daily life. Ninh Thuan now has over 41,000 ha of uncultivated land, or 12.21 percent of the province’s total natural area.

Bui Anh Tuan from the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment said to deal with the situation, local authorities implemented measures to prevent desertification, balance the ecosystem in drought-hit areas and create a protective forest belt. One of the measures is to plant “Trom” and Neem trees in mountainous areas to reduce erosion and landslide while retaining water. Husbandry can be developed in such forests, generating income for locals. This model is being applied in Ninh Phuoc and Thuan Bac districts.

Another model to build small-scale dams in streams in Thuan Nam district also produced positive outcomes, ensuring water supply for local residents.

According to Truong Duc Tri, Director of the Department of Hydrometeorology and Climate Change, studies of topography, hydro-meteorological conditions, agricultural production and socio-economic development plans in Ninh Thuan, along with the results of existing projects, show that a combined model of forestation and irrigation development is the best solution for the locality to cope with drought and water shortages.

The building of dams while planting more forests will help store water, prevent erosion and increase soil humidity, thus reducing losses caused by floods and landslides, protecting infrastructure in lower areas and developing sustainable livelihoods for locals.

At the same time, local people will have more incomes from caring for forests under contracts with the State.

Ninh Thuan has also designed a model to plant vegetables in coastal sandy areas, while switching to crops that require less water and restraining uncontrolled grazing, contributing to preventing desertification and adapting to climate change.

Local authorities are working with the Global Environment Fund on a number of projects that combine both traditional ways and advanced technologies to store water, preserve soil and prevent desertification in drought-hit areas in Ninh Phuoc district, which have produced positive results.-VNA