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Jilin Provides Drinking Water to 150,000 Thirsty People

Northeast China's Jilin Province, which has been plagued by drought for nearly a month, has managed to provide drinking water to about 150,000 thirsty people in the rural areas, but more are crying for water.

The province has also resumed water supply for 211,200 head of livestock, said Xie Wanku, deputy head of the Jilin Provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

But 288,700 people in the countryside of Jilin and 181,300 head of livestock are still short of drinking water, Xie said.

Meanwhile, 12 cities have also reported temporary shortage of water, the official said.

In addition, up to 66.5 percent of the farmland in the province, or about 2.67 million hectares, has been affected by the drought, while 19 reservoirs have dried up.

The province has spent more than 300 million yuan (US$37.5 million) for disaster relief and dispatched more than 2 million people to combat the drought.

Latest nationwide statistics show that the number of Chinese without drinking water has risen by 320,000 in the past several days to 8.68 million as drought tightened its grip on the country's northeastern regions.

The drought had affected 11.07 million hectares of arable land -- including 9.2 million hectares of crops -- and 7.6 million heads of livestock, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said on Monday.

In northeast China's Liaoning Province, 2.05 million hectares, or 49 percent, of the province's crops are affected by drought.

In the northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, 870,000 people, 1.48 million head of livestock and 460,000 square kilometers of pasture are suffering water shortages.

(Xinhua News Agency June 26, 2007)

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