Gia Lai: Position and Force

Theo dõi Báo Gia Lai trên Google News

Geographical location

Gia Lai is located in the north of the Central Highlands at an average height of 700-800m above the sea level. With an area of 15,536.92 as mentioned in the Prime Minister’s Decision 272/QD-TTg issued on February 27, 2007, the province stretches from 12058’20” to 14036’30” north latitude and from 107027’23” to 108054’40” east longitude. It borders Kon Tum province to the north, Dak Lak province to the south, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh and Phu Yen provinces to the east and Cambodia to the west with 90 km of national borderline.

 A corner of Pleiku. Photo: Nguyen Giac
A corner of Pleiku. Photo: Nguyen Giac

Gia Lai has a tropical monsoon climate, with two seasons: The rainy season begins in May and ends in October while the dry one lasts from November to April. The average rainfall is 2,200-2,500mm in the western side of Truong Son range and 1,200-1,750mm in the range’s eastern side. The province’s average temperature is 22-250C.

Administrative units include one city, two county towns, 14 districts, 24 wards, 12 towns and 186 communes.

Natural conditions

Gia Lai province lies on part of a 4,000m-thick ancient stone foundation belonging to the Kon Tum Geoblock. From the late Neogene period to the Quaternary period (dating back 1.6 million to 0.7 million years), neotectonic movements created deep cracks on the crust, making volcanoes strongly active producing basalt layers with the thickness of up to 500m. Lava flows then filled ditches of the topographical surface, creating vast and relatively flat plateaus.

The province’s terrain tends to be lower from north to south, sloping from the top (National Highway 14) to the eastern and western sides, with mutually inserted hills, plateaus and valleys.

Most of mountains in Gia Lai province are located in the north with strongly separated topography. From Kon Ka King peak (1,761m high) in K’bang district to the south, mountains are divided into two systems:

- The first mountain system (running through An Khe Pass of An Khe mountain range): runs along the eastern part of Gia Lai, geographically separating the province from central coastal provinces, and gradually slopes down to Ayun Pa and Kong Pa plains.

- The second mountain system (running through Mang Yang Pass): divides Gia Lai into two parts, namely Eastern Truong Son and Western Truong Son, which differ in climate, soil and environment.

Apart from the two above-mentioned systems, mountains also scatter in plateaus and valleys in Gia Lai.

Plateau is a popular and important type of terrain in Gia Lai. The province has two plateaus, including:

- Kon Honong Plateau covers an area of 1,250, stretching from the south of Kong Plong district (Kon Tum province) to nearly the end of Kbang district. It is located on the eastern side of Truong Son mountain range with a height ranging from 50-80 metres and goes down from north to south with a slope of 8-120.

- Pleiku Plateau sits on a site of 4,550, stretching from the south of Kon Tum city to Chu Pah and then through Mang Yang Pass to the border shared with Cambodia. As one of the two largest plateaus in the Central Highlands, Pleiku Plateau’s peak lies on Hdrung Mount (Ham Rong Mountain) at a height of 1,028 m. The plateau’s northern and northeastern sides measure 750-800 metres in height while the southern is only 400 metres.

Low-lying areas in Gia Lai have been used for food production many years ago. Most of them are located in the eastern part of the province:

- An Khe low-lying area covers 1,312, running northeast-southwestern. The area is bounded by Kon Honong Plateau to the north, and Cheo Reo-Phu Tuc low-lying area and Chu Trian low mountainous area to the south. Its eastern and western parts border two mountains running through An Khe and Mang Yang Passes.

- Situated on a site of 1,474 in the southeastern part of Gia Lai province, Cheo Reo-Phu Tuc low-lying area follows An Khe low-lying area and is encompassed by Ba River with an average height of 180-200 metres.

Gia Lai has 26 types of soil, divided into seven main groups:

- The alluvial soil group covers an area of 46,430 hectares, accounting for 3 percent of the province’s natural area and distributed at areas with flat terrain and near water resources (big rivers and streams). This kind of soil is suitable for vegetables and food crops.

- The grey soil group, with an area of 364,806 hectares, accounting for 23.55 percent of the natural area, is seen along Ba and Ayun Rivers in the southwest of Chu Prong district and the districts and towns of An Khe, Dak Po, Auyn Pa and Ia Pa. This kind of soil has poor nutrition as it is easy to drain and has a weak nutrient-holding capacity. It is suitable for short-term trees such as sugarcane, sesame, cassava, tobacco and beans or for afforestation.

- The black soil group makes up 1.8 percent of the natural area, equal to 27,870 hectares. It is mainly distributed in Mang Yang, Chu Prong, Chu Se and Duc Co districts, suitable for afforestation and the recovery of floristic composition to protect soil.

- The yellow-red soil group accounts for 50.44 percent of the natural area with 781,765 hectares concentrated in the districts of Pleiku and Khon Honong plateaus. This kind of soil is good to feed long-term industrial trees like coffee, tea, pepper and rubber, as well as short-term industrial trees, fruit trees, vegetables and food crops.

- The yellow-red mountainous humus soil group occupies an area of 175,582 hectares, or 11.35 percent of the natural area. It is distributed mainly in the province’s northern and northeastern mountainous areas at a height of 1,000m or more. It is mainly used for forestry development.

- The sloping valley soil group has an area of 14,140 hectares, accounting for 0.91 percent of the natural area. It is distributed mainly at a height of 300-700m with a slope of 3-800 in Mang Yang and Chu Se districts, Ayun Pa region and Pleiku city.

- The stone emerging eroded soil group makes up 7.32 percent of the natural area with 113,423 hectares, concentrated in districts and towns namely An Khe, Ayun Pa, Phu Thien and Krong Pa. This kind of soil is unable to be used for agricultural development. It is suitable for afforestation to protect soil.

Rivers: Gia Lai province has total water reserves of about 23 billion cu.m distributed in the main systems of Ba River and Se San River.

Ba River.

- Ba River System: Ba River is the second longest river in the Central Highlands region with 304 km. It originates from Ngok Ro Mountain at a height of 1,240m on Ngok Linh Range in Kon Tum province and flows along the eastern side of Truong Son Mountain Range through Gia Lai province’s Kbang, An Khe, Kong Chro, Ia Pa, Ayun Pa and Krong Pa districts and Phu Yen province before going out to the sea. The main tributaries of Ba River are Ayun River (meeting with Ba River at Ayun Pa), Krong Nang River (meeting with Ba River in the southern part of Kong Pa district) and Hinh River.

- Se San River System: Se San River rises from the highest mountains of Truong Son Range, namely Tieu Mountain (1,988 m) and Ngok Linh Mountain (2,598 m). It has two major tributaries such as Dak Bla River and Poko River and its small branch is Sa Thay River. Se San River runs through Dak Doa, Chu Pah, Ia Grai and Duc Co districts before going to Cambodia.

In addition to the main river systems, Gia Lai is also home to the tributaries of the Sre Pok, Ia Drang and Ia Lop Rivers, which are sourced from Hdrung Mountain and run through the province’s Chu Se and Chu Prong districts. It also has many other rivers, streams and lakes providing water for people’s daily use and agricultural production. The systems of rivers and streams running through the province provide a hydropower source with theory reserves of 10.5-11 billion MW and economic and technical reserves of 7.1 billion KW.

Forests: Gia Lai province has more than 1.1 million ha of forest land, accounting for 72 percent of total natural land. It ranks second in the country in forest coverage with 47 percent. Of which, special use forests cover more than 61,364 ha (accounting for 5.5 percent of total forest area); protective forests, over 277,613 ha (23.5 percent); and production forests, nearly 773,448 ha (69.5 percent). Gia Lai forests boast many kinds of valuable wood such as rose wood, aromatic wood, barian kingwood and cedar wood, as well as many medicinal plants like Tho phuc linh, cot toai, sa nhan, ma tien and trees producing oil and latex…

Together with the flora, the forest fauna in Gia Lai is also diverse in species and numbers of individuals. There are many species of rare and precious animals such as rhino, tiger, elephant, red wolf, marbled cat, black gibbon and five-colour monkey, Precious species of bird include white-necked crane, peacock, Rheinartia ocellata, Lophura nycthemera (silver pheasant) and Polyplectron germaini. Especially, the chestnut-eared laughingthrush Garrulax Konkakinhensis has been recently found in the Kong Ka King National Park.

Minerals: Gia Lai boasts a wide range of minerals but the largest reserves are seen in construction materials, bauxite, gold and gemstone. Metal minerals include iron, zinc, arsenic and wolfram while non-metal minerals are granite, limestone, marble, clay, sand and pebble.

One bauxite mine has been discovered with its four locations in Kon Ha Nung area being explored with C2-level reserves of about 210.5 million tonnes containing 33.76-51.75 percent of A12O3 and 14.04 percent of SiO2. There are also iron, tin and zinc mines but their reserves are small.

Gold has been found in 73 locations, including 66 locations of nugget gold and the remaining of stream gold. Potential areas for gold reserves are Kong Chro, Ia Mo, Krong Pa and Ayun Pa.

Limestone has been seen in six locations with the most potential being in Chu Se with C1+C2-level reserves of 22 million tonnes which is being tapped to feed two cement plants in the province.

Other minerals for making building materials such as bazan stone in Chu Se pass, Pleiku and Chu Pah. Meanwhile, granite has a reserve of 90.1 million cu.m.

Clay used to produce brick and tile is distributed across the province but mainly in Ayun Pa and An Khe.

Human Resources: Gia Lai has a population of more than 1.2 million people (according to the 2009 statistics), with 34 ethnic groups living together. Of which, Viet (Kinh) people account for 52 percent of the population, followed by Jrai people (33.5 percent), Bahnar people (13.7 percent), Xo Dang, Thai and Muong people. As many as 53 percent of the population are at working age while those under training make up 30 percent. Gia Lai reports high annual increases in population and the number of workers. Despite cheap labour costs, the province needs to increase cultural and technical training for workers.

Source: History of the Gia Lai provincial Party Committee in the 1945-2005 period

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