Water and soil are contaminated with saline in Nhon Hai commune, Ninh Hai district of the south central province of Ninh Thuan (Source: VNA)

Ninh Thuan (VNA) - Water and agricultural land in Nhon Hai commune, Ninh Hai district of the south central province of Ninh Thuan has been contaminated with high saline levels, affecting local production and livelihoods.

Nearly 400 aquatic production bases of the commune covering an area of some 100ha have recently released untreated sea water. The sea water absorbed in the soil has contaminated 30ha of agricultural land with salt.

Aquatic production bases are located in centralised area of Ninh Thuan province but the water treatment system has not been completed.

Tran Kim Mien, a farmer in My Tuong 2 village, said in the past two years, due to the saline intrusion, ground water is contaminated with salt and cannot be used to water plants. He has to stop production on several areas of land.

Farmers in the commune have also been forced to purchase land in neighbouring villages where they can dig wells for non-saline water. Others mix tap water with ground water to dissolve salinity.

Some farmers have even switched from growing garlic and onions to coriander and other types of vegetables that need less water.

Tran Dong Linh, Chairman of the Nhon Hai Commune People’s Committee, said local authorities has ordered the construction and expansion of aquatic production bases, which are located in the north and adjacent to locals’ agricultural land, to be halted. Farmers are allowed to expand the aquatic production area to the south which faces the sea.

The communal committee also proposed local authorities finish setting up infrastructure for the centralised aquatic production area, harmonise benefits of agricultural development and environmental protection.

The commune’s authorities will install standardised waste water treatment system and impose strict fines on those who release untreated waste to the environment, the chairman said.

He also asked local authorities would assess salinity level in the water and soil to have solutions and help farmers.

In Hoai My and Hoai Hai communes of Binh Dinh province’s Hoai Nhon district, untreated waste water released from shrimp breeding areas pollutes canals, ponds and rivers making the water saline.

Nguyen Chi Cong, Vice Chairman of the Hoai Nhon District People’s Committee, said local authorities have instructed farmers with techniques and breeding schedules to ensure hygiene and food safety, and protect environment.-VNA