Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta is Vietnam's southernmost region, also known as the Mekong River Delta, the western part of Vietnam's southern region, or as the people often refer to as "the West". It comprises of Can Tho, a city under the central government control located at 170 km (around 100 miles) southwest of Ho Chi Minh City, and 12 provinces: Long An, Dong Thap, An Giang, Kien Giang, Tien Giang, Vinh Long, Hau Giang, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu and Ca Mau.

Mekong Delta

Natural conditions and agricultural production

The Mekong Delta has two distinct seasons, the rainy season (from May to October) and the dry season (November to April). Being at the downstream area of the Mekong River that originates in China's Tibet, the Delta receives alluvial deposits from seasonal floods on the Mekong River tributaries, giving favorable conditions for agricultural production. In addition to the river system, the Delta's special feature is that it has countless canals on a length totaling about 5,000 km, enriching the region's environment. The canals are formed from initially the nine tributaries of the Mekong River, bringing fresh water and fertile soil to every corner of the vast region before flowing to the East Sea.

The Mekong Delta is rarely affected by storms and major weather changes. The weather here is quite stable, with temperature averaging at between 25-28°C. The natural conditions have strong and deep influences on the region's culture.

Thanks to the fertile soil, farmers in the Mekong Delta grow three rice crops a year, with their combined output making up nearly 60 percent of Vietnam's annual output. However, most of the country's best rice varieties are grown in the Delta, so its output contributes more than 90 percent of the rice export volume from Vietnam. The Southeast Asian nation trails India and Thailand among the world's top rice exporters.

Given the features of the fertile bottomlands region, the Mekong Delta provides ample supply of Vietnam's aquatic products, with some of the best items famous in overseas markets such as catfish and shrimp. The region produces around 70 percent of Vietnam's aquatic product output.

Climate change impact

The Mekong Delta, home to some 18 million people and which is only 0.8 meter above the sea level, will probably sink into the sea by 2100 if heavy extraction of ground water and sand mining continue, Dr. Philip Minderhoud from the Utrecht University in the Netherlands was quoted by the official Vietnam News Agency as saying.
The rapid growth of subsidence makes the salinization, flooding and coastal landslide in the delta event more urgent, Minderhoud was quoted as saying in the VNA report posted in late 2020.

(to be continued)

 

22.02.2021

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