In order to support local people in responding to the drought, military units stationed in the areas have actively taken measures to provide clean water to local people.

Severe consequences of drought

In early April, in Bu Gia Map district, the drought epicenter of Binh Phuoc province, there are many withered cashew fields. The ground is full of dry leaves under the sun. The weather is hot and sultry. It feels like just a tiny spark can quickly set cashew fields and forests on fire.

Dieu Ninh, a S’tieng ethnic minority in Bu Gia Map commune, Bu Gia Map district, held that prolonged hot weather causes a lack of water, affecting cashew trees and causing low productivity. “It is expected that this year we can harvest about 1.5 tons/ha, decreasing nearly 600 kg/ha in comparison to the same period in 2023,” he added.

Economic-Defense Unit 778 and units provide free water to local people in Bu Gia Map commune.

Dieu Thi Boi’s nearly 2ha pepper garden is also withered due to the high temperature and lack of water. “Over the past days, pepper prices have increased by more than 100,000 VND per kg, but there is no pepper available for sale. Drought causes low productivity,” added Mrs. Boi.

Pepper trees need to be watered every day. However, due to prolonged drought, the 30-meter deep wells have dried up, so there is no more water left for irrigation.

In addition, local people also do not have enough water for their daily life. According to Deputy Chairman of Bu Gia Map district People’s Committee Dieu Thuan, Bu Gia Map commune is one of the places most severely affected by drought in the district. The commune has nearly 400 households lacking clean water.

According to the Binh Phuoc provincial Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control and Search and Rescue, the prolonged hot weather from December 2023 until now has affected nearly 1,500 households in the province, caused lack of water and damaged more than 8,200ha of crops, especially in the districts of Bu Gia Map, Bu Dang, Phu Rieng, and Loc Ninh.

Troops wholeheartedly help local people

In this situation, Economic-Defense Unit 778 of Military Region 7 has actively coordinated with local authorities to provide free water to people in the area where they are stationed.

In Bu Gia Map district, as a vehicle carrying nearly 20m3 of water from the unit arrived, many local people waited with cans in their hands to receive free water. Dieu Tam, a local in Bu Ren hamlet, Bu Gia Map commune, said, “My family is in difficult conditions. In the dry season, we had to buy water at a price of more than 20,000 VND/m3, and for many days, there was no water available for us to buy. Today, troops brought free water to my family, we are all thankful for that.”

Over the past half month, the unit has exploited, transported, and provided more than 1,000m3 of clean water to local people. In addition, military units stationed in the area also worked with local authorities to boost dissemination to mobilize local people to save water, upgrade irrigation projects, and instruct people to use sun protection measures for plants. Many units and localities have presented water tanks to needy people and supported local residents to dig water wells.

Besides, the Binh Phuoc provincial People’s Committee directed local authorities to attach much importance to drought prevention, mobilize all sources to implement drought prevention and control as well as forest fire prevention and control measures, regulate water sources to serve people’s daily life, and livestock, poultry and crops of high economic value.

Ly Trong Nhan, Secretary of the Bu Gia Map district’s Party Committee, said that in addition to taking drastic measures to prevent drought, the locality also promotes the building of new-style rural areas, ensuring clean water for all people, while actively innovating production methods, transforming the livestock structure suitable for the dry season.

Especially, the most important measure is that local people should be active in storing water by building tanks and digging ponds, among others.

Translated by Minh Anh