Sat. Dec 3rd, 2022

Environmental degradation in the Mekong Delta region is occurring at an
alarming rate, requiring prompt solutions, the Southwestern
Environmental Protection Department has said.

A
survey conducted by the Ho Chi Minh Institute of Tropical Biology found
out that farmers in the south spend on average 39.3 USD on pesticides
for every hectare of farmland, 43.2 percent higher than their northern
peers’ spending.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development reported that the region’s rice growing area increased from
3.2 million hectares in 1995 to 4.1 million hectares in 2012, which is
synonymous with the rise in fertiliser use.

Statistics
released by the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute show that each
hectare of farmland in the region is cultivated with at least 348 kg of
fertiliser per annum.

Based on this figure, the
institute calculates that the amount of fertiliser used in the entire
region since 1995 to be from 1.5-2 million tonnes each year.

Without complete statistics on the use of pesticide in hand, experts,
however, estimated that fields were sprayed with at least 10,000 tonnes
of pesticide each year.

Aquatic breeding areas also
increased from nearly 200,000 hectares in 1995 to 745,000 hectares at
present. However, there is a lack of effective treatment solutions to
wastes discharged from these farms.

The other reason
also lies with rapid urbanisation. As many as 102 million cubic metres
of sewage and 600,000 tonnes of solid waste, all untreated, are
discharged by 3.6 million urban residents in the region a year.

In addition, solid waste totalling 220,000 tonnes and 47 million
litres of liquid waste, plus smoke and noise, discharged by industrial
zones and small-scale businesses located in the region each year also
contributed to environmental degradation.

The overuse of
pesticide and fertilisers for a long time will spoil fertile farming
land and consequently deteriorate the ecosystem. Untreated wastes pose
potential threats to the environment and people’s health. It’s time to
act, fast, drastically and effectively.-VNA

By vivian