Mekong Delta 2016: historic drought, saline intrusion destroys crops

Dried fields, cattle dying of thirst, expensive drinking water, sea water overflowing houses. In 2016, the lives of millions of people in Mekong Delta, Central Highlands and central region were upset because of drought and salinity intrusion. In the first months of 2016, when the north saw record spells of cold, the central and southern regions suffered a historic drought and saline intrusion caused by El Nino. The natural calamity faded fertile fields and withered crops. In Central Highlands, vast coffee hills were ‘burned to death’ and turned into firewood. In shrimp farming areas, shrimp could not grow because of salt water. Oysters died because of the lack of water, while cattle died because of thirst. The images of people with tears in their eyes because of the cattle deaths and crop failure could be seen in many local newspapers. In an attempt to save rice fields, farmers had to dig wells to get fresh water to pump to crops fields and buy dry straw at sky high prices to feed cattle. 

Keep reading