Mekong Delta region awaits floods
VietNamNet Bridge - The Mekong Delta, the rice, seafood and fruit granary of the country, is facing landslides and sinking, as it no longer receives enough silt because of limited floodwaters.

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“We have been living here for several generations and we have never seen such poor floodwaters until the last year,” said Nguyen Van Ut, 70, in Tan Hong district of Dong Thap province.

According to Ut, as floods do not come, locals cannot breed fish and shrimp, or grow vegetables. 

Nguyen Ba Hung, 38, in An Phu district of An Giang province, said it wasva surprise that floods had not come, though it is August. 

According to the Southern Meteorological Station, the water level is now very low at the Cuu Long riverhead. On Tien River, the highest water level is 1.36 meters only measured in Tan Chau, while on Hau River, the figure is 1.2 meters, which is 40-50 cm lower than the same period last year. 

The Mekong Delta, the rice, seafood and fruit granary of the country, is facing landslides and sinking, as it no longer receives enough silt because of limited floodwaters.
“There is no sign of floods so far,” said Le Khuong Binh, director of the Dong Thap provincial Meteorological Station.

Nguyen Minh Nhi, former chair of An Giang province, who initiated the plan to take full advantage of the flooding season to develop the economy in 2001, said that if floods do not come, it will be a ‘big threat’ to the western part of the southern region.

Previously, production activities in flooding season in An Giang and Dong Thap provinces could create VND5 trillion in value, generating nearly 1 million jobs to locals within 3-4 months of flooding season. However, as floods have been poor in the last two years, the production has scaled down.

Nhi warned that damages caused by the absence of floods will be serious and millions of people will lose their livelihoods.

The appearance of more and more hydropower dams on the Mekong main stream and branches has resulted in decrease in the volume of water reaching Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. 

Nhi expressed concern about information that Thailand had diverted the Mekong stream to take water to irrigate its 5 million hectares of fields.

“Even Tonle Sap in Cambodia also fears water shortage,” he said. “If floods no longer come, we will have to live with increasingly serious saline intrusion."

According to Le Anh Tuan, deputy head of the Institute for Climate Change Studies, floods have not come because of changes in this year’s rainy season. Rains concentrate in the Mekong Delta and the water goes directly to the sea. Second, typhoons do not target the central region, but head for the north.

“Laos’ lower area and Vietnam’s central region play an important role in bringing floods to the Mekong Delta, but there is no water,” he said.


VNE


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