Climate change in the Mekong Delta through pictures

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VietNamNet, Mekong Delta region, Vietnam

EJN grantee Hoang Huong recently took a trip to the Mekong Delta to learn about the impact of climate change in Vietnam's largest granary. Here are some of her recent photos.

The Cuu Long River Delta (also known as the Mekong Delta) is Vietnam's largest granary and one of the greatest fertile plains in Southeast Asia.

With a total area of nearly 40,000 sq.km, the Mekong Delta accounts for 50% of rice output, 70% of fruit output and 52% of fishery output of Vietnam. It contributes 90% of the country’s rice export revenue and 60% of seafood export turnover.

However, scientists said that the Mekong Delta is heavily affected by the impact of climate change. If the sea level rises 1m, floods will inundate 90% of the area in 4.5-5 months/year. In the dry season, brine (4% of salt concentration) infiltrates over 70% of the area.

In the photo: Two men are back building an embankment to prevent seawater from entering Chava village. Chava village is located in Lam Hai commune, Nam Can district of Ca Mau province, the lowest area in the Mekong Delta.

If the sea levels rise by 0.2m, about 706 km2 of land in the Mekong Delta will be submerged. If the rise is 0.6m, the flooded area will be approximately 994km2. If the sea levels rise by 1 meter, the delta will lose 15,000 to 20,000 km2.

With the coast over 254km long, Ca Mau is a hot spot for erosion and landslides in Vietnam, particularly in the rainy season.

Two kids play on ground which was previously part of the house of their neighbors. The house fell into the river on a night in September 2015.

If the sea levels rise at the current rate, up to 60,000 to 90,000 hectares of cultivation land in the coastal districts of Ca Mau province will be flooded, especially the two districts of Ngoc Hien and Nam Can.

A house falls down into the river of Nam Can.

The fields in the higher areas are less affected by the sea level rise but the weather change also affects agricultural output.

 

Farmers in Thoi Binh District, Ca Mau province deacidify and desalinate the field before planting rice. Due to unusual weather this year, with too little rain, 90% of the rice fields in Bien Bach commune of Thoi Binh district are  flooded with salt and alum water.

 

A dead field in Le Giao hamlet, Thoi Binh district because of salt and alum water.

Many households in Le Giao hamlet, Thoi Binh district cannot use water from drilling wells because the underground water is contaminated by salt, alum water. 

Photo: Nguyen Van Cuong is drawing water from his well, one of a few wells in Le Giao hamlet that have enough fresh water.