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Vietnam's Mekong Delta hit with worst drought

A water crisis is developing in central and southern Vietnam as the region is hit by its worst drought in recent history. The United Nations says 1.5 million people face an acute shortage of drinking water.

A record drought across central and southern Vietnam is affecting the water supply and livelihoods of nearly 1.8 million people, 80 per cent of them in urgent need of drinking water, a United Nations situation report says. Twelve out of Vietnam’s 63 provinces have so far declared a state of emergency.

The drought is forecast to peak in April and persist through May, which means relief may not come until June, a late start for the rainy season. “The thing is even in the wet season now, people, especially farmers, can feel the drought,” said Nguyen Dang Quang, head of division at the National Hydrometeorological Forecasting Centre (NHFC). NHFC's records show the Central Highlands has experienced drought for the past two years at least.

BLAME EL NINO

Experts blame the drought on climate change, citing the prolonged El Nino phenomenon affecting all of Southeast Asia. Chinese hydro-power dams on the upper reaches of the Mekong River have also been linked to severe saltwater intrusion exacerbating the drought in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta.

Source:
Water crisis developing in drought-hit Vietnam: UN. Tan Qiuyi. Channel NewsAsia. 04 Apr 2016. from http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/water-crisis-developing/2663532.html