Due to prolonged drought this year, more than 2 million people in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region are threatened by an acute shortage of drinking water, according to the regional headquarters for flood control and drought relief yesterday.
The past several months' drought affected 625,000 hectares of crops and led to a shortage of drinking water for 1.4 million domestic animals in the region by the end of September, according to the headquarters.
Currently, water stored in local reservoirs amounts to only 4.38 billion cubic meters, less than half of last year's figure for the same period.
Guilin is suffering the most serious drought in Guangxi, with 133,000 hectares of 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 encouraged 3.33 million locals to help fight the drought, investing 90 million yuan (US$11.09 million) in the process.
Now 990,000 people affected by drought have access to drinking water and 261,000 hectares of drought-hit crops are being irrigated.
(Xinhua News Agency October 11, 2005)