WWF says Hungary especially endangered by droughts

Xinhua News Agency | Aug 15, 2019 at 7:18 PM

BUDAPEST, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- The World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) has stated that Hungary was the 16th most endangered country in terms of damages caused by droughts due to climate change, according to official sources here on Thursday.

"The drought brought on by climate change already has severe consequences; wheat, rape, maize, potatoes and peas have been hit by drought in Hungary since February this year, the spectacular rise in fruit and vegetable prices is also partially due to the drought," the Hungarian government informed in a statement published on its website.

According to WWF, the frequency and intensity of droughts in Hungary was likely to increase in the future, the statement added.

"Since the 1970s, groundwater levels have fallen by 2-5 meters on average in the so-called sandbank between the Danube and the Tisza, with the decrease amounting to as much as 10 meters in some places," the statement warned.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has classified the region as a semi-arid area for the last few years.

"Immediate and effective measures are needed to reduce drought damage. Irrigation or the construction of artificial reservoirs is no longer a sufficient solution -- last year, several international examples have shown that in the case of persistent drought, even the most significant reservoirs can dry up," the statement concluded, quoting WWF.