The worst drought to hit China in 50 years will continue
to dry up crops and leave millions of people thirsty, despite a light rain
that began to fall this week, according to Chinese meteorologists.
drought has left more than 18 million Chinese people in 15 provinces and
regions without sufficient drinking water, according to the Ministry of
Water Resources, as reported by Xinhua
and China Daily
than 130 million hectares of cropland and at least 17 million livestock
have been affected by the drought.
To help alleviate the worst
effects of the drought, local governments have dug nearly 30,000 new wells
and dispatched 13,“water wagons” to bring water to drought-ravaged
villages. Still, villagers receive only one bucket of water daily for each
family, and they must ration every drop. For example, a basin of water may
be used to wash rice and vegetables, and then reused to bathe each member
of the family before being used to water pigs and cattle.
losses and other property damage amount to billions of dollars already,
and the drought is far from over.
Li Biquan, a 73-year-old farmer
from Yujiaba Village, Wusheng County in Guang'an, told China
that the drought has left he and his wife with little to
show for months of back-breaking work in the hot sun: "We can't believe
this—a half year of hard work has come to nothing. Our grain output will
be down by 80 percent compared with last year."
China is not the
only nation affected by drought. More than 60 percent of the United States
is in the grip of the third-worst drought in
, according to reports by the National Drought Mitigation
Center, and drought is also affecting many parts of Europe and Latin