Tue, July 06, 2010
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Drought grips Bolivia

2010-07-06 05:46:47 GMT2010-07-06 13:46:47 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

An early dry season in Bolivia is leaving an unprepared population at risk. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

A severe drought grips Bolivia. An extended dry season has left fields like this one in the state of Santa Cruz completely dry with nothing but shriveled cornstalks.

The springs are drying up leaving behind mud cracked fields.

The lack of water is putting the survival of livestock at risk. Cows, skinny from a shortage of nutrition, struggle to drink from the shrinking springs.

And it is not just the agricultural sector that is hurting.

Local families are finding it increasingly difficult to find safe drinking water.

At the Floresta Community Health Center, patients are treated for illnesses caused by drinking unsafe water.

"The water that is being drunk by the community isn't safe and that is why an epidemic has been announced. Both people and animals are suffering from the lack of water."

The dry season typically begins in August, but this year the rains unexpectedly stopped, leaving an unprepared population at risk.

Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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