Mekong Delta water shortages threaten 180,000 households

The region has suffered from drought since 2016. Five provinces have declared a state of emergency earlier this month. In most places, the Mekong is between 0.1 and 1 metre above the Eastern Sea level. Lack of rain, water use and more dams have increased salinity. 

Drought and water salinity are threatening the lives of 180,000 households in the Mekong Delta, south-western Vietnam.

Over the past two months, the number of residents affected by the crisis has increased, touching 10 of the region’s 13 provinces, especially Bến Tre, Kiên Giang, Cà Mau, Long An and Tiền Giang, which declared a state of emergency in early March.

Considered the “rice bowl” of Vietnam, the Mekong Delta supplies more half of the country’s rice. However, according to government estimates, more than 362,000 hectares of rice fields and 136,000 fruit trees will be lost this year.

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Peter Tran