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Drought Haunts 2 Mln People in Guangxi

More than two million people in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region are facing an acute shortage of drinking water due to a prolonged drought this year, according to the regional headquarters for flood control and drought relief on Monday.


The dry spells in the region over the past several months have affected 625,000 hectares of crops and led to a shortage of drinking water for 1.4 million head of domestic animals by the end of September, according to the headquarters.


Currently, the water stored in local reservoirs is only 4.38 billion cubic meters, less than half of last year's figure for the same period.


Guilin, the regional capital city, is suffering the most serious drought in the region, with 133,000 hectares of farm crops affected and 655,000 people facing a shortage of drinking water.


Laibin has 112,000 hectares of crops affected by drought.


Governments at various levels in the region have aroused 3.33 million locals of various ethnicities to fight the drought, investing 90 million yuan (US$11.09 million).


Thanks to the drought-fighting efforts, 990,000 people affected by drought now have access to drinking water and 261,000 hectares of drought-hit crops are being irrigated.


(Xinhua News Agency October 11, 2005)

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