CRI News Report:Joining Hands to Get Through the Drought 简介：Download MP3 Audio 把音频贴到我的博客(Qzone)或BBS 关闭MP3地址:音频页面地址:Joining Hands to Get Through the DroughtAs drought continues to ravage sou…
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Joining Hands to Get Through the Drought
As drought continues to ravage southwestern China, relief work is also making progress. In Yunan province, the government, NGOs and local people are joining hands to get through this difficult period. Tingting has the report.
Duan Lijun is a primary school student in Mile County, one of areas hit hardest in Southwest China's Yunnan Province. Thanks to relief work, Lijun is given a bottle of mineral water each day. But the teenage girl saves most of her limited water quota for her family. Because of this, she drinks just one and a half bottles of water each week.
"It's been a long time since we lacked drinking water. Everyday, I pray it will rain soon, and that my folks at home won't suffer from thirst any longer."
Since last fall, Southwestern China has been plagued by its worst drought in six decades. In some areas, the disaster is worst in a century. According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the disaster has affected around 61 million people and left about 5 million hectares of land barren across Guizhou, Yunnan, Sichuan, Chongqing and Guangxi. Duan's hometown Yunnan is the worst-hit province, with about 5.4 million people facing water shortages.
To cope with the severe challenge, the Chinese Red Cross Foundation has launched the Spring Rain program, calling for donations for water, food and other relief materials.
The national Land and Resources system has also been given responsibility to pump underground water into drought affected areas. The first 153 meter-deep artesian well was made in Yiliang, a county nearby the provincial capital of Kunming, on Friday.
One local farmer is very happy to have fresh water nearby his home again.
"I got here five this morning to queue for the water."
The 552 cubic meters of water the well pumps every day will go some way to addressing the demand for water to drink and irrigate crops. Across the province, workers are drilling daily with the aim of digging over a thousand wells by mid-May. 52 are already functioning and 288 are under construction, providing 20 percent of the needed drinking water.
The Ministry of Water Resources has allocated more than 6.3 billion yuan, or around 900 million US dollars to support further relief work.
Qiu Ruitian is deputy director of the State flood control and drought relieve office.
"The fund will be used to supply drinking water for both humans and livestock, to upgrade water conservation infrastructure and support small-scale farming water."
With such industrious collaboration it is hoped that Southwest China will be enjoying a reliable water supply before long.