The Mekong Delta has experienced its worst drought in almost a century caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon. Whilst the drought is plaguing much of South East Asia the problem has intensified in the Delta due to reduced water flow upstream as a result of the construction of hydroelectric Dams in Laos and China and a major saltwater intrusion that has crippled the regions farmers whom are highly reliant on agriculture as a source of income.
Having recently made the move from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, I was keen to explore the region and I wanted to see and understand the effects of the drought for myself. So far I've done two trips to Ben Tre Province and Soc Trang Province. I was joined by my girlfriend Nga whom translated for me and fellow photographer Quinn joined us on our first trip to Ben Tre.
It's not only the crops that are suffering, the animals are affected too. The salt water in Ben Tre intruded before the Lunar New year and the river water became too salty for the animals to drink.
May 8, 2016. Having lost his entire sugarcane crop Tam, 40, starts the arduous process of preparing his 3 hectares for another season. He is decided not to employ anyone to help so that he can save money. He works on other farms to make additional income.
May 9, 2016. Business is not bad for everyone as evidenced by the number of boats selling water on the waterways in Soc Trang. Due to the lack of rain now most farmers need to buy water for their daily needs. Nga, 47, told us that business started earlier this year and that she and her husband have been selling more as many people have run out of water.