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Drought continues despite rainfall

2010-03-31 08:32 BJT

Special Report: SW China Battles Severe Drought |

Recent rainfall in southwestern China has provided little respite for millions of residents suffering the worst drought in a century. The office for State Drought Relief says the rain only amounted to surface water, and was not substantial enough to abate the disaster.

Yunnan Province has seen the most rainfall among the disaster-hit areas. But the 12mm of water that fell only filtered 3cm underground, and could not reach plant roots. So the showers provided little relief for local agriculture.

The Ministry of Water Resources is in talks with the Ministry of Finance, over providing extra subsidies to residents of the disaster areas. Future drought prevention measures are also topping the agenda of the central government.

Hu Siyi, Vice Minister of Water Resources, said, "Our ministry has mobilized all the power in the irrigation sector to look for new water resources. Meanwhile, we are considering increasing the construction of water conservation facilities."

The severe disaster has led to the drying up of more than six hundred of Yunnan's rivers and streams. Over 3 hundred reservoirs and nearly 5 thousand ponds have also run out of water.

In Guangxi, the drought is spreading further, with 3 million people and over a million livestock facing drinking water shortages.

Meteorologists say that there should be some rainfall in the next couple of days in most parts of Guizhou, with some eastern areas of the province seeing heavy rain. It is hoped that this will ease some of the effects of the drought.

Meanwhile, ten provinces and cities including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Guangdong are helping Southwestern China in its fight against drought. They have been organizing for technical support teams and relief materials to be sent to the region.

Editor: Zhang Ning | Source: