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China allocates relief funds to drought-hit region

DATE:2013-08-20       SOURCE:Xinhua News Agency

The Chinese central government has allocated 40 million yuan (6.54 million U.S. dollars) to aid those affected by drought in the southwest province of Guizhou.


The funds will primarily be used to supply drinking water to the affected population and provide drought relief for agriculture, the Provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters told Xinhua.


The heat wave has spread across the province since July, causing rivers and reservoirs to dry up and affecting 16.67 million people, or about 48 percent of Guizhou's total population, according to the headquarters.


"Half of the 88 counties in our province are on the 'worst-hit' list, with more than 2.98 million people facing drinking water shortages," said an official with the headquarters.


In Wumian, a village some 240 kilometers southeast of Guiyang, the provincial capital, villagers have had to queue up at the only well in the village to get water.


Villager Yang Aduo told Xinhua that he waited two hours before getting a bucket of water, and he had to wait several hours for the sediment to settle before drinking.


The province has so far raised 6.59 million yuan (1.06 million U.S. dollars) for drought relief.


In addition to relief funds, Guizhou has received support from the military. More than 20,000 soldiers from the People's Liberation Army have been sent to help locals combat drought.


A water-supply engineering regiment under the Beijing Military Area Command has arrived in Zunyi City, one of the worst-stricken areas, to dig wells.





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