With the country overwhelmed by fear of the novel coronavirus, another even more severe threat is slowly approaching in the south: the death of the Mekong Delta. The central region is at high risk of drought from March to May, the remaining months of this dry season. — Photo baoquangngai.vn Late last month, farmers in the region made headlines after deciding to sell topsoil from their rice fields because they were unable to grow anything anymore. In 2016, the central and southern regions in Việt Nam experienced their worst drought and salt intrusion in 100 years, with 18 provinces declaring a state of emergency at the same time. In many areas in Trà Vinh, Bến Tre, Kiên Giang and Bạc Liêu, up to 80 per cent of rice crops were lost, and one million people were left in dire need of food assistance. Almost two million people lost their livelihoods or were badly affected. The scenario may return this year, and possibly even worse. The provinces of Long An, Tiền Giang, Bến Tre, Kiên Giang and Cà Mau all declared a state of emergency earlier this month. Officials said the drought and salinity this year had been way more severe than in 2016, citing salinity levels that had surpassed the 2016 record. Around 40,000 hectares of rice… Read full this story
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