Naval forces rescue thirsty locals in parched Mekong Delta

By Tu Huynh, Bui Hong Nhung   April 14, 2016 | 05:54 pm GMT+7

Soldiers are buying clean water and traveling 10km each day to donate it to people in the Mekong Delta, who are going through the worst drought in almost a century.

Due to the El Nino weather pattern, the Mekong Delta has been hardest hit by the crippling drought. More than 140,000 hectares of rice fields have been razed and about 150,000 families are lacking clean water at present, according to calculations by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Mekong Delta province of Binh Thuan has more than 96,000 people lacking clean water. 

Soldiers from the 681 Brigade, Region 2 of the Vietnamese People’s Navy, are helping locals by buying up clean water and delivering it for free.

naval-forces-rescue-thirsty-locals-in-parched-mekong-delta

The brigade has ten soldiers and two water trucks to supply water for about 500 households in Binh Thuan province.

naval-forces-rescue-thirsty-locals-in-parched-mekong-delta-1

The brigade provides 56 cubic meters of water per day on avarage for local people .

naval-forces-rescue-thirsty-locals-in-parched-mekong-delta-2

Nguyen Thi Thang from Vinh Son commune said: "Thanks to the naval forces, I don't have to travel a long way to fetch water any more."

naval-forces-rescue-thirsty-locals-in-parched-mekong-delta-3

Nguyen Thi Thuan, another Vinh Son local: "My family can save money as we dont have to buy water from other families."

naval-forces-rescue-thirsty-locals-in-parched-mekong-delta-4

Soldiers run plastic pipes to transfer water to every single tank.

naval-forces-rescue-thirsty-locals-in-parched-mekong-delta-5

Hoang Sy Hoa, leader of the team, checks the tanks himself to make sure people have enought water.

naval-forces-rescue-thirsty-locals-in-parched-mekong-delta-6

"Only when I meet local people can I see how difficult their lives are," Hoa said.