Authorities of central Quang Tri province need to work harder to ensure water supplies for people’s daily use and social welfares in underprivileged areas as an acute drought still lingers, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has said.

Months of scorching heat waves have dried up lakes, reservoirs and irrigation facilities across Quang Tri, seriously affecting local life and killing over 10,000ha of rice and food crops.

Though provincial authorities have supported farmers with 3 billion VND (over 139,500 USD) to switch to growing green bean and maize on 2,500 hectares of rice farming land, the target area remains uncultivated due to water scarcity.

During the Deputy PM’s fact-finding visit on June 15 and 16, provincial officials asked the Government and central ministries for 650 billion VND (over 30.2 million USD) in aid to build and upgrade anti-disaster facilities like dams, embankments, water supply stations, and irrigation works.

Hai spoke highly of the province’s active response to drought such as economising on water use, shifting crop structures, and utilising surface water in lakes, streams, and rivers.

He however, stressed that such moves are only short-term solutions and Quang Tri must embark on more substantial ways to cope with drought.

The Government will focus its aid on the construction of canals and water storage facilities and the ensuring of people’s basic needs, he noted.-VNA