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Continuous drought leaves 2000 facing water shortage in Qiubei

By : InKunming|Updated: 2011-09-03

A boy fills up a bottle with muddy water and drinks at once to quench thirst in Damaheng Village which is badly hit by drought in Qiubei County, southwest China’s Yunnan Province. [Photo/ Wen Ruoyu]

Villagers walked 2 km to carry muddy drinking water in Damaheng Village which is badly hit by drought in Qiubei County, southwest China’s Yunnan Province. Villagers fail to harvest gains, and drinking water delivered from Yanshan County is as expensive as 3 yuan a bucket, thus most villagers can’t afford to buy.

Continuous drought plagues Qiubei County

“This pond used for fish raising, but now vehicles are shuttling back and forth on it,” said Li Xi (李羲), director in the flood control and drought relief office in Qiubei County. The pond used to be the water resource of Damaheng Village. Drinking water for human beings and livestock, even for irrigation depend on this pond, which is more than two km from the village.

In total, nearly 2000 villagers in 487 families live in Damaheng Village.

On the morning of August 30, Wang Shunting (王顺廷说), drove an oxcart with an oil drum bounded on it. After over-one –hour journey, he arrived at a paddle which was over two meters wide and one meter deep to carry water. Water were immersed from the soil but mixed with weeds and garbage. An official said that though muddy the water looked, it was the only existing water resource now.

Wang said that a water-carrying trip costs about three hours. Each morning, traders from Yanshan County carry water here for sales. “But a bucket of water cost 3 yuan, I can’t afford it,” said Wang. When reporters asked how dirty water could be used for cooking, Wang said that if not, there would be no water for cooking.

Due to the drought, Wang gave up raising pigs. Once he carried water, it could support the daily water use for three to four days for four family members and a bull.

“In spite of the dirty water, if I come late, there is no water left,” said Wang. Every morning before dawn, there are forty to fifty villagers queuing up for water.

A boy filled up a bottle of water and drank at once. It looked that he was extremely thirsty.

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