PM orders proactive response to saline intrusion, water shortage in Mekong Delta hinh anh 1The Mekong Delta has been struck by drought, saline intrusion and water shortage since the beginning of 2021. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered concerned ministries and Mekong Delta provinces to proactively respond to saline intrusion and water shortage in the coming months in an official dispatch.

The Mekong Delta has been struck by drought, saline intrusion and water shortage since the beginning of 2021 due to weather conditions, water flows upstream and impacts of tides, he said, adding that it has driven clean water prices up and affected the locals’ life and production.

Since saltwater intrusion is forecast to linger on in April, the Prime Minister asked the concerned ministries, governmental agencies, and municipal and provincial People’s Committees in the region to take proactive actions to address the issue in the 2020 – 2021 dry season. People must not be left short of fresh water, according to the official dispatch.

People’s Committees of cities and provinces, particularly those coastal, must keep a close watch on the situation and adopt response measures suitable to their particular context. They must identify high-risk areas where people should be prioritised with access to clean water while the deployment of military and public security forces is possible, if necessary, to help provide clean water for affected people.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development was tasked with monitoring and giving forecasts on water resources, water quality and saline intrusion; and promptly providing information and warnings for affected cities, provinces and people.

The ministry is also responsible for giving instructions to the cities and provinces on how to maintain agricultural production and minimise damage from saltwater intrusion and lack of fresh water while coming up with solutions to supply water to local families and develop concentrated water supply projects. It was also urged to mobilise support from domestic and international organisations in tackling the issues./.