PM’s instruction averts Mekong Delta saline intrusion hinh anh 1High salinity level (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Prime Minister on March 12 issued an instruction requesting imperative measures to cope with saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta.

As many as nine out of 13 cities and provinces accounting for nearly 40 percent of the Mekong Delta’s acreage have suffered from excessive salinity, which has damaged around 200,000ha of winter-spring rice and vegetable crops.

Up to 155,000 households lack fresh water.

Saltwater encroachment will continue, worsening in March and April and lasting until June.

In order to mitigate the adverse impacts of the disaster, the PM asked municipal and provincial authorities to install more water pipelines and offer fresh water to residents, ensuring sufficient water supplies to hospitals, medical stations and schools, and preventing the use of unhygienic water that potentially leads to epidemic outbreaks.

Irrigational works will be operated to control salinity levels, while more dams will be dredged to unlock fresh water flows.

The ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development; Finance; and Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs were required to list households that need rice and propose financial assistance for those affected to submit to the Prime Minister for consideration.

The ministries of Natural Resources and Environment and Agriculture and Rural Development were asked to keep close track of saltwater encroachment forecasts and offer guidance to farmers.

The Ministry of Health is responsible for promoting the use of clean water, and responding to any disease outbreaks that arise. The State bank must allow affected farmers more time to repay their debts.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment will adjust a master plan on socio-economic development for the Mekong Delta, and make sure State and local funds are sent for disaster recovery efforts.-VNA