Mon, February 27, 2012
China > Mainland > Lingering drought in SW China

Farmers of SW China's Yunnan hit by drought

2012-02-27 02:33:29 GMT2012-02-27 10:33:29(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, Feb. 27 (Xinhuanet) -- In drought-hit Yunnan Province, the source of the Red River in the region’s northwest has dried up. It hasn’t rained there since September, which has severely hit the local agricultural sector.

Beautiful Dali City is usually a luscious verdant paradise, but no longer. The relentless dry weather has turned these terraces from glowing green to musty yellow. The agricultural production base had been around 16, 000 hectares just a few months ago, but now the vast majority of farmland is going thirsty. Many mountainous areas have also dried up as rivers find it hard to flow.

In Chinese, shui means water, but here in Yuwanshui village, there isn’t much of the stuff to spare, never mind flowing.

Regarded as the best harvest in the whole village, this farmland belongs to Zhu Xiuying. But by pre-drought standards, this is not so bountiful. Zhu says she could only harvest five kilograms of peas from the thirty kilograms of seeds that she planted.

-? Nothing has been fit to harvest in the last few years.

-? When did you plant these peas?

-? I planted them in September.

But the harvested peas are only good to feed her livestock. And as the drought lingers, Zhu is finding it ever harder to source water to keep her farm going. So, she has had to sell some of her animals.

Zhu Xiuying said, "The drought has made our lives more difficult. We can hardly find water for our livestock so we have had to sell some of them. We have no idea how long we can continue in these severe conditions."

Zhu is not the only one who has had to sell her animals - two-thirds of her neighbours have been forced to make the same tough decision. This well is the only place in Zhu’s entire village where she can fetch water. No one knows when it will run out.



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