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Southwest China faces severe drought

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
March 21st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Sparse rainfall this past winter and into the spring has left many areas across southwest China facing severe drought. Nearly 2.6 million people and more than 1.33 million heads of livestock in southwest China's Yunnan Province face a drinking water shortage.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters, dry weather and rising temperatures from February 18 to March 10 have expanded the drought to 15 cities and prefectures across the province.

The cities of Kunming, Yuxi, Chuxiong and Dali for four consecutive years have undergone drought conditions, the headquarters said.

Villagers need to drive 5 kilometers to buy water, as the reservoirs and ponds have all dried up in Dabaihu Village in Yanshan County of the Zhuang-Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Wenshan.

"It costs ($4) to buy one cubic meter of water. My family is not rich, so we could only buy ($64) worth of water each time, but we spent almost ($320) buying water last winter. We have no idea how our lives will go on if it won't rain," Wang Jiancheng, a villager of Dabaihu says.

Lingering drought has also had an impact upon western parts of neighboring Guizhou Province, where more than 910,000 people, 130,000 heads of livestock and 51,400 hectares of crops have been affected.

Meanwhile, southwest China's Sichuan Province in the meantime has seen the widest-reaching drought in two decades.

As of March 15, 126 counties in 12 cities and prefectures had been hit by the winter-spring drought, with 715,200 people and 789,400 heads of livestock short of drinking water, according to the provincial drought relief office.

Relevant departments in those provinces have taken action to ensure people's water supplies, protect crops and reduce economic losses.

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